On our last Living Between Worlds call (the video is here; please subscribe!) we digested the COP26 global climate summit: with a bit of appreciation for the excruciatingly incremental progress that seems to be the only way we know to change—except when we have to!—and burning frustration at what Alex Steffen calls “predatory delay” in the face of existential crisis, where “winning slowly is the same as losing.” The “hidden motto” that German parliamentarian Hermann Scheer gave to these gathering 14 years ago still feels sadly apt:
Talk globally, postpone nationally!
At the same time, we see great though scattered leaps, as leadership perhaps shifts from the politically constrained national players to Wall Street and to people in the street. And even the disappointing political leaders are moving, though not as quickly or boldly as we would like…but then we didn’t deliver Mr. Biden the Congress he needed to go faster.
Living Between Worlds returns Weds Dec 15; I hope you’ll register here and join us then.
WHERE TO FOCUS
For Natural Logic, this moment fuels the ever-present question of “Where can we have the greatest impact?” Helping newbies join the game? Helping current leaders significantly raise their game (which is where much of our best work has been)? Engaging the gaps in our practices and the structural flaws in our systems? Scouting the edge, watching and listening for what’s coming and what might be possible now?
It’s clear that the map is shifting, so it’s no surprise that the leverage points are moving too. For decades, I’ve worked (alongside so many of you) to illuminate the business case for sustainability. “The living world,” I would say (for nearly 30 years now), “has 3.8 billion years experience in evolving efficient, productive, adaptive, and resilient systems.
We don’t have to reinvent the wheel; the R&D’s already been done.
“You don’t have to choose between making money and making sense,” I would say. “‘Sustainability’ drives engagement, innovation, and value,” I would say. Now, what used to be dismissed or even laughed at as unrealistic is on the table in every board room on the planet, on the agenda in every cabinet chamber. And yet we lumber, “reasonable” people taking “reasonable steps,” toward an unknown future that demands something greater of us.
Now, provoked by events and nourished by Fuller and Meadows, Flores and Benyus, Robinson and Latour, Bateson and Powers—and by so many of you—I find myself wondering this:
What might it be like if humans lived, if we did business, as though we belonged to the living world?
What might your company, your city, your life be like?
What might be possible now?
BUSINESS IN SERVICE OF LIFE
I’ve offered these memes in recent conversations and keynotes, including this one, to the Confederation of Indian Industry. “What if (as I first asked in 2011)…
What if we could somehow shift from life in service of business to business in service of life?”
This question landed powerfully among the CEOs in Mumbai. What is it provoking in you? Shall we talk? I’m ready, if you are, for a conversation with you, your executive team, or your board…whether as speaker, advisor, or coach.
A DIFFERENT SORT OF COACHING
It can take time to put together a corporate engagement. But coaching can begin quickly, and and both deepen and accelerate what you’re up to.
So I invite you to engage me—one-on-one—for a different sort of coaching. Specifically designed for world changers. Like you. TrimTabs, as Bucky called us. Check out my Trimtab4Trimtabs™ program, and then apply for a sample session if you think it might be for you. Or for your teams.
Finally, as many of those of us in the US head to family Thanksgiving dinners (and the invitation to actually give thanks), let me offer you the gift of Gary Snyder’s Prayer for the Great Family, and a 2,000 year old reminder that
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” —Cicero
Gil Philip Friend • Trimtab for Trimtabs™
CEO, Natural Logic, Inc. • Founder, Critical Path Capital • Keynote Speaker—Book me now!
Tel: 1-510-248-4940 | Cel: 1-510-435-6346 | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube channel
The task ahead (if we were to really tell the truth about it):
Reinventing the economy of an entire planet.
This planet. In one generation.
New: On-demand sustainability micro-learning—for $1/month/employee (or less)
“We should not wait for international treaties. Experience gained from international governmental conferences over the last 35 years shows that these events always follow the hidden motto: ‘Talk globally, postpone nationally.’ Their participants always have to reach a consensus. But an unbridgeable gap exists between consensus and acceleration. In history, no example of a breakthrough of a new technology can be found which has been promoted by an international treaty. The common rule is: be faster than others, because the speediest will have most opportunities.”