Due to be published next month by Springer, “Rethinking Strategy” (ed. Thomas Wunder) contains a chapter by my colleagues at Sustainserv and myself on what companies need to do align external sustainability objectives and communication with internal objective-setting and organisational development. Our research shows that integrating sustainability themes with mainstream business strategies is the key to ensure that implementation can happen. Can happen, you ask? Strategists agree that strategy is not simply a top-down, planned process, but has to also delegate responsibility and authority to those closest to customers and Stakeholders to encourage new strategic perspectives to challenge the old. We argue that this can be done by clearly defining the areas of responsibility of each level and function of the organisation and providing clear guidelines concerning expectations and rules, for example concerning trade-Offs between financial and sustainability topics. But instead of sending out detailed targets without consultation, we´ve found that using the Integrated Reporting six capitals approach can provide a framework for setting out business strategy, without ignoring stakeholders or negative impact of business processes. Using a Sustainable Strategy Map, based on the work of Kaplan & Norton´s original Balanced Scorecard, value creation that goes beyond pure financials can be described and the story of the strategy told. So instead of target-setting alone, Senior Management can provide a common way of creating and aligning strategy – at all Levels -, while encouraging engagement and initiative-taking. And the approach used here also works for the process of seeking out future products and services based on understanding how well we use all six capitals, and using the challenges which emerge, to drive ideation sessions. We recently ran an innovation project for a real estate and services client that asked the question: what would the business model and service portfolio look like if we had to meet the future challenge of climate change today. I can´t share details but the ideas developed both addressed the negative aspects of company activities but came up with almost 100 possible ways that adaptations could contribute to creating value for investors and stakeholders. And the most surprising thing? The participants who were so engaged and innovative weren´t formally responsible for strategy, innovation or even members of management running the business units. But they had a clear perspective on what future customers would need. If we´re going to meet the challenge that future sustainability needs will pose, then part of the solution is making strategy and innovation everybody´s everyday job.