Making the Emotional Case for (Sustainability) Change - A blog by Nathan Schock

Making the Emotional Case for (Sustainability) Change - A blog by Nathan Schock

Nathan Schock's personal blog,, is the primary hub for communicating sustainability and bringing people together who do the same.
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Making the Emotional Case for (#Sustainability) Change a blog by @nathanschock


The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggers offer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.    

Monday, March 8, 2010 - 1:38pm


 There is a fascinating interview with Chip Heath in the latest Mckinsey Quarterly (free subscription required to access), titled: Making the emotional case for change. Heath's thesis is that building a rational, analytical case for change is not enough to make change happen. You also have to appeal to people's emotion. You have to motivate them to want to change.
I'm constantly amazed at how much businesses underestimate the impact of the emotional side of communications. Politics understands it. I dare you to find a politician running a campaign TV commercial that references anything remotely resembling an issue (unless it's an attack ad). Ditto for sales and marketing. But for some reason, business leaders seem to think that data alone is good enough to make their point. "If I could just show them this graph" or "they need to know the facts." As Heath explains, that alone is not enough to drive change.
This blog is (primarily) about external green communication, but before you can do that you have to have internal alignment. This article gives some great examples and tips for how to get that internal alignment. Take Heath's example from GE and how they got their team to start thinking in terms of ecomagination: