About Us

Our Company

Sustainable Enterprise Ltd, like most companies in the world, is a family business.   So the story of our company is in many ways the story of our lives. Mike has instigated a variety of enterprises for fun and profit. Helga has dedicated her life to social enhancement as a health professional, in both developing and developed countries. Both of us have a deep commitment to equity, and through our love of nature, especially the sea, and our life in the natural beauty of New Zealand we care deeply about the environment.

We have been academics for the last thirty years and for the last twenty of these have embraced storytelling both as a research methodology and as a mode of sharing our findings.  So Sustainable Enterprise is a storytelling company.   Mike was dean of the University of Waikato Management School in New Zealand for eighteen years prior to stepping down in 2008 to focus on providing business advice.  Waikato Management School is accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA, one of only about thirty business schools in the world to achieve this distinction. In 2002 the faculty made a commitment to sustainability at the core of the school's Purpose. Unusually the school has faculty across every discipline who are active researchers and teachers of sustainability in business. Individually and collectively they have been an inspiration to create our business dedicated to the implementation of sustainable enterprise ideas in practice.

During 1996 to 1999 Mike and three co-authors researched and told the stories of ten elite sports organisations, and from this developed a theory of Peak Performance, which was published in a book of that title in 2000. Key findings from this research were that clarity of shared Purpose and inspirational leadership in a family-like environment provide the best foundations for flow and peak performance. The book spawned an organisational development business Inspiros Ltd. Mike and Helga and colleagues conducted peak performance workshops with iconic multinational clients around the world for fifteen years from 1997.

Through these experiences we came to realise the potential for companies to do well by doing good through building sustainability principles into their business models, but learned how few were actually doing so.   In 2005 Mike and Helga embarked on another global research journey to tell the stories of the genesis of ten iconic enterprises that were founded on sustainability principles and have become globally recognised brands. From these stories we have created a theory of Sustainable Peak Performance to help other companies to achieve and sustain peak performance and make the world a better place. 

We believe that there is nothing so practical as great theory. Theory is an explanation of relationships and of cause and effect. With great theory it is possible to implement Sustainable Peak Performance development, avoiding pitfalls and with increased velocity.

We are currently working on a new book called Inspiring Peak Performance.  This will be a practical book on how to implement Peak Performance.  We will tell the stories of some of the organisations we have worked with to illustrate Peak Performance development in practice.

We hope you enjoy exploring our web site. In it you will find stories about how we have personally experienced a variety of sustainability issues, what we know about these issues and how every environmental and social problem can be turned into an enterprise opportunity for its resolution.