This is an invitation to do something that you probably don’t get to do nearly enough.
Yes, of course, you think all the time. We all do. But what is rare for most of us—myself included (that’s how I know!)—is to think deeply, spaciously, patiently, boldly. To invest in yourself, to give yourself the gift of regular, uninterrupted time to do the one thing that your company, your colleagues, your investors most expect of you—damn, that you most expect of yourself. To bring your full intelligence, experience, insight, and wisdom to bear on the things that matter most—to you and to them. Not only to keep busy deciding and doing and “managing,” but thinking.
Which is what they pay you for. Or should.
That’s why I’m inviting you to join me in an experiment that I am conducting with a handful carefully selected business and sustainability leaders. (Well, I should be clear: I haven’t selected them; they’ve selected me.)
I’m opening a handful of “thinking partnerships”—a series of unstructured, undirected one-on-one conversations for possibility, exploring aspirations, expectations, innovations, assumptions, in an unbounded, rigorous, serious, playful and creative stroll through each other’s minds, experiences, and deepest commitments—to a world that works, and to doing business that prospers by contributing to that world.
What will we talk about?
That’s up to you, of course, but I’ll suggest that we start with what’s most important to you, most challenging—and perhaps most unaddressed. I don’t know specifically what those will be for you, but here are some of the themes that keep coming up in my other thinking partnership conversations:
- How could you and your company contribute most powerfully—and most profitably— to a world that works?
- What business are you really in? (What is it that your customer really wants from you? Hint: it’s probably not what you’re selling them.) And what possibilities does that question unlock?
- What are the product and service innovations that could transform your industry? And how will you deliver them before someone else does?
- How good could it get? How good are you willing to have it?
- What should your business model look like five years from now? twenty years from now?
- With whom will you need to partner to make this happen?
- How will you get them, and the rest of your team—and your company—aboard?
We’ll talk about strategy, design, innovation, organization and leadership. We’ll talk about soul and purpose. We’ll have freewheeling, head-in-the-clouds conversations—and ground them in nuts and bolts reality.
And you’ll have a safe space, and an exceptional guide.
You’ll get the deep thinking partnership of one of the pioneers of the sustainable business field—a deeply experienced advisor to innovative companies, and personal coach to courageous leaders. I’ll challenge you, provoke you, encourage you, support you and help you discover, design and deliver breakthroughs for your company, your career, and yourself.
Because in fact what you’re doing, as a sustainability leader, is inventing a future—for your company and for the world. This is something human beings do. We speak new worlds into being—whether Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” or Ray Anderson’s “Mission Zero,” JFK’s call for the moon landing or the rapidly trending Living Building Challenge. Only then can we step into those new possibilities and bring them about.
We can hold these confidential conversations over your beverage of choice, on a walk or electronically—depending on your preferences and logistics. We’ll generally schedule them for an hour or two at a stretch, at a time of at your convenience, to give us the space to go deep.
You’ll invest your time, and a fee of less than the cost of a day of consulting per month. We’ll commit to each other for a minimum of three months (though six or 12 months will let us build some serious momentum). We’ll enrich each other’s lives, thinking and work.
(This isn’t coaching. Coaching is more directed; this is more open and exploratory. Coaching focuses on goals, plans, action and accountability; this focuses on discovery, innovation and the heart of the matter. Coaching is designed to help you win the game; this is designed to help you change the game. It’s also not consulting; I’m not providing deliverables—just a commitment to give you the intellectual, philosophical and creative ride of your life.)
Send me a brief note telling me what’s on your mind—or what wants so much to be on your mind. (Or call me today at the number below.) I’ll respond promptly, and we’ll figure out together whether we’re a good “fit” for an extraordinary thinking partnership.
Gil Philip Friend
CEO, Natural Logic, Inc.
Cell: 510-435-6346 | Skype: gil_friend
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The question at the heart of all my work:
Life in service of business? Or business in service of life?