“I have a dream” for regenerative business

A friend connected me to Simon Sinek’s TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.   A couple of key points stood out for me (amongst lots of good stuff):

  • Inspirational leaders start from a core purpose, and first answer the question “Why?”  rather than “How?” or “What?”
  • Martin Luther King started from “I have a dream…”  and “I believe…” not “I have a plan…”

This talk made me think about  regenerative business – was I as clear as I would like to be?   Could I state my “why”, or could it do with some polishing?  So here we go….

I have a dream….

That we can develop a global regenerative economy – that we can develop  new ways to do good business that deliver valuable services BY supporting community and eco-system regeneration, and do it for a population of 7 billion or more.

That environmental  advocates across the globe understand the oppoturnity side of sustainability and can engage those around them in developing regenerative solutions.

I believe…

That we’re only just beginning to deliver regenerative business models, so judging our long-term capability to live well inside our finite eco-system  based on how we currently do business is like looking at the Wright brothers’ Kitty Hawk and saying “Well, technically it might fly, but it will never make money.”

That the early regenerative entrepreneurs have proven it’s possible and profitable, so we can let go of  the 20th century belief that said “enviroment=expense”.  It’s been happening since at least the 1990s, it just hasn’t hit the mainstream media yet.

The design work’s been done, so we know the new business thinking that makes for profitable regenerative business strategies and practices.

That we have all the technology we need to get started, so we don’t need to wait for some magic “silver bullet” to save the day.

That regenerative business is “the greatest opportunity since the invention of money” and the real challenge is to get beyond scarcity thinking, compliance, reporting, consumer frugality  and obligation to find our opportunities.

That the skills we need to develop most are the “soft stuff” of influencing and innovationthe “how” of engaging more people more positively in new ways of designing business to regenerate the environment.

That’s my manifesto…

That’s what’s behind Balance3 and Regenerative Business Coaching.  That’s why I wrote The Deep Green Profit Handbook.  Because while we live in the false dilemma “green OR profit” we’ll stay stuck – but once we get over that old 20th century thinking, there’s a wealth of new opportunities to be developed.  And  because the skills that will make it possible won’t be technological skills – they’ll be communication, innovation, emotional intelligence and influencing skills.

If you think this sounds more fun that efficiency and waste reduction, then maybe it’s time you made the switch to regenerative thinking.

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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.