Enough with the ‘why’ already!!!

Let’s talk about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of profitable sustainability…

Why

Humans need more than why stuff for behaviour change.  If a good reason why was enough to create behaviour change then we wouldn’t have problems with smoking, obesity or any number of other ‘challenges’.  To make effective change, most of us need more than “reasons why” – we also need to know what to change, we need to know how to do it, and we need some rewards along the way.

Where are the (guilt-free) sustainability videos and audios about the ‘what‘ and ‘how‘ of profitable, regenerative sustainability?

I’m a bit cranky today.  I’ve just watched another video on sustainability – and it’s still about “why sustainability is important”.  A whole 20 minute TED talk – and over 15 minutes of “why.  How long are passionate sustainability campaigners going to bang on about “Why we need to change” without giving air time to the answers we already have and the progress we’re already making?
whatIt’s as though if we just convince people that something is important, then change will happen automatically – it won’t.  Worse, the rest of the population that like to know what to do, how to do it and that there will be some rewards along the way could go away thinking we don’t have any answers yet – when we do!
howFor a relatively small number of idealists, why is enough.  The rest of the population needs more – they need to know:

  • What to do: Plain language descriptions about the key mindsets and principles of smart, deep green profit – doing profitable business in ways that regenerate ecosystems and build communities.
  • How to do it: How to go about harnessing teams and communities to adopt the innovations in thinking and practices.  This is often the ‘soft stuff’ of conversations and motivation, not necessarily the complex how of a specific technology.
  • What’s in it for them?  This doesn’t have to be about money – it could be job satisfaction, achievement, or just plain fun.  How could they get more of what they value out of engaging in deep green profit strategies?

There ARE plenty of “what” and “how” answers on sustainability….

We’ve over 25 years of learning behind us on win/win/win profitable, regenerative business sustainability – what if we spent more of our time talking about that? What if we also did our best to do it in ways that work in the 21st century, when the majority of the population is overwhelmed with the challenges of living well in a complex, ever-changing world.
wiifmWe may not know everything about creating a regenerative future, but we know more than enough to get underway.  In fact, smart entrepreneurs have been doing it for a minimum of two decades.

There are also plenty of “what” and “how” answers on behaviour change, human perception and innovation adoption.  A whole range of disciplines from neurobiology, psychology and ontology through to marketing and business development are giving us tools to enable and accelerate change.

If you’re interested in being part of accelerating a win/win/win future, where profitable businesses deliver valuable services in ways that build communities and regenerate ecosystems, it might pay to do a personal skills audit on your capabilities in communicating:

  1. The what, how and rewards of regenerative thinking in action; and
  2. The what, how and rewards of skillful change-making.

There’s a lot of skill and learning behind ‘being the change you want to see in the world‘ – especially if you’re like me and more interested in burning brightly than in burning out.  Check that you haven’t been trapped by your passion for why – develop a full spectrum of communication capability.  A good start could be to look up 4MAT learning, the model this post is based on.

 

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About Leigh

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Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.