With colleagues, we have developed the minimum criteria – or “starting line” – for the UN-backed Race To Zero. Through this campaign, over 2,000 organisations have committed to “four Ps”: not only to pledge net zero, but to set a plan to deliver it, proceed with immediate action and publish their progress. — Steve Smith, Tim Kruger for Oxford Net Zero
If we want to hit our targets for Net Zero, we have to make our plans flexible yet concrete, and visible. That’s what the Race to Zero campaign has done. Yet I would go a little further than the authors do in this article.
It won’t be enough to have a plan. Lots of failed programs had plans.
To be successful, every organization that has made this pledge will need plans built to withstand uncertainty. They’ll need to pursue a portfolio of solutions so that the unfeasible ideas die early, while the risky-yet-attainable ideas have space to mature. They’ll need the ability to adjust their plans as new information comes in, whether that’s technological breakthroughs, increasing social pressure, evolving government policies or “black swan” events like COVID. They’ll need to recognize which decisions can be changed easily, and which ones have long-term consequences and need more careful consideration. They’ll need to be agile in the true sense of the world: fast, flexible and responsive.
This doesn’t mean running the entire global program to combat climate change on Scrum. It does mean ensuring that the plans incorporate everything we know about how to make decisions and get things done in a fog of uncertainty.