The prime entrepreneurial pattern

(Adapted from The Prime Innovation Pattern in The Innovator’s Way) The use of the nouns “entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurship” hide the reality that what we’re dealing with is a process that’s been intensively studied and defined over recent decades – particularly under the label “innovation”. Innovation is another process hiding inside a noun – and what is hidden is the process …

6 ways to screw up any sustainability message

Not getting the results you want?  Maybe there’s a reason.  I’m repeatedly amazed at how little many (extremely smart) sustainability advocates seem know about the art and craft of influencing. Poorly crafted sustainability messages are as destructive as any other form of junk mail.  How many of these screw-ups have you seen recently? 1. Only talk about the bad news …

You know the world is changing when…

When leading brands start turning regenerative thinking into business innovation, you know there’s a fundamental mindset shift underway. Here are a few big brand indicators that particularly caught my eye: Adidas  collaborates with Sea Shepherd to make running shoes out of ocean plastics: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3048033/adidas-knit-these-sneakers-entirely-from-ocean-plastic-trash McDonalds hooks up with Rocky Mountain Institute to design a Net Zero Energy fast food outlet:  …

Macca’s is aiming for zero net energy!

You know the world is changing when the Golden Arches crowd hooks up with the Rocky Mountain Institute to design a net zero energy fast food outlet – largely achievable with today’s technology! In this case, Net Zero Energy means that a store must offset its energy consumption with on-site renewable energy generation on an annual basis.   It’s not a …

What hooked Naomi Klein into sustainability?

A good friend loaned me the book “This Changes Everything” by social activist Naomi Klein.  It’s a massive book and I’m still processing a lot of its content. One thing that I’m always on the lookout for in sustainability is to understand the triggers that enable people to engage with something so potentially overwhelming.  So the bit of the book …

"Just" is a 4-letter word

“Human behaviour doesn’t fit into a simple cause/effect model…. Resist simplifications…” – Margo Main In an increasingly complex world, “just” is a symptom of over-simplification that blinds us to  possibilities for systems transformation.  Maybe it’s an excess of super-hero movies, technology overwhelm, or an industrial culture of production line thinking. A single-answer “solution” about sustainability (or any other wicked problem) …

Force fields for change-making

Changing human systems starts with understanding them and the glue that holds them together. Human systems are heavily geared towards maintaining themselves and they often actively resist change. They want to conserve themselves. (Equally true for individuals, families, communities, organisations and societies.) Human systems also have the potential to transform themselves when the need arises. Given a big enough breakdown …

Entrepreneuring and behaviour change

Being an entrepreneur is fundamentally about being in the business of behaviour change.   Behaviour change is a process – hence the word “entrepreneuring”. The real work is in convincing your target market to adopt the new behaviour implicit in your product or service. To sell smarter phones and tablets, Steve Jobs had to convince people to use them – …

Two quick tools for change-makers

Whether you’re considering joining our Summer School in January, setting personal objectives for 2015 or planning some quiet world changing, here are two tools for a kick-start. Each has a more detailed version for you to download and explore. Beginning with a WELL-FORMED end in mind… Five quick questions to check the quality of the objectives that you’re setting are: …

What types of conversations AREN’T you having?

If you’re into influencing and personal effectiveness then you’re in the conversation game.   It’s a game that many of us learned like we learned walk – by copying others without too much conscious consideration of the specifics of what we were doing. For some of us, even the suggestion that there are different types of conversations with different purposes …

Language, being and the business of sustainability

At the heart of all sustainability challenges is the core system requiring an upgrade – the human system.   “Business”, “the economy”, “the supply chain” etc. are ultimately processes where human beings act and interact in social systems. Understanding HOW humans go about the process of organising themselves as individuals and in groups (their ontology)  is critical to sustainability at all levels – from personal …

Myers Briggs as a tool for innovators

A common topic in many of my coaching conversations – especially with sustainability practitioners – is that there are useful models for understanding HOW people are different and what motivates different groups. I’ve found that the four Temperament Types is a useful model for understanding and influencing and gives clients some useful ‘aha’ moments as to why “they’re not listening” …

Business innovation supplied by nature…

Back in the 19th century the human race got hooked into chemical and mechanical engineering. We developed steam power and learned to make soap in quantity, then later fell in love with petrochemicals. While these have been useful tools to a point, their side effects are showing up as increasingly damaging. Biomimcry is showing up as a new source of …

High class communicators listen differently…

“High class communicators take the responsibility to interpret the understanding of their audience in order to be understood the way they want to be understood.”  Alan Sieler – Newfield Institute. I re-sat Newfield Institute’s 3-day Ontological Coaching In Action workshop last week.   Ontological Coaching is an ongoing practice – like yoga – that helps me be more grounded, balanced and …