Leadership/Advocacy Series: Everyone is A Leader - Empowering Your Green Team With Distributed Leadership

Session Description

Green Teams are often viewed as teams that are led by one individual, while the rest of the team follows. In reality, each Green Team member is a leader in his/her own right. At Virginia Mason, each Green Team member is viewed as a leader and empowered to make changes in the organization that improve our environmental impact. In this workshop we'll share how we've embraced this model of distributed leadership in our Green Team and experienced improved engagement. We'll also talk about our "idea system", based on Toyota Production System idea systems,and how we've used it to empower the Green Team and other employees to implement green ideas. When you look at every employee as an environmental leader, you open the window to new opportunities in your organization. Come learn how we have done this with success, and how you can implement it in your organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Compare traditional leadership models with distributed leadership models.
  • Learn how to implement distributed leadership in your green team.
  • Learn how to use a "lean" idea system to identify, test, and implement green ideas.
  • Learn how to engage your green team by leveraging their innate gifts and talents.


Brenna Davis, Director of Sustainability, Virginia Mason Medical Center.
Ms. Davis has been committed to the environmental movement for over thirty years. She started her sustainability work in 1995, where she worked for the petroleum industry on pollution prevention and industrial recycling projects. For fifteen years prior to joining Virginia Mason, she worked in the energy sector with local, national, and international corporations to develop cutting edge environmental sustainability programs. She approaches sustainability work with a focus on creating a safe space for employees to express their inherent gifts and talents through environmental leadership. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University and a Master's Degree in Management from Antioch University. She is a graduate of the UW Foster School of Business Executive Development Program, and is a World Affairs Council Fellow. She serves as a founding member of the Huxley College of the Environment Advisory Board. On a personal note, Ms. Davis collects classic vinyl albums with a preference for anything recorded by the Clash. She is currently writing a book exploring the link between compassion and reduced environmental impact.


Member: $0   Non-member: $29