OUR APPROACH: THE NINE SEEDS OF A SUSTAINABLE WAY
Organizations and natural systems have at least one thing in common: both are complex ecosystems. You know this to be true simply by looking at your business model: you take inputs, you add value to those inputs, and offer them to your market. When one element of your business fails, your entire enterprise is imperiled. In other words, everything is connected to everything else. As a social entrepreneur, you naturally understand this.
The scientific community long ago revealed the critical success factors of healthy natural ecosystems. We can apply the same rules to your organization. By following natural law, you accomplish several of your stated goals:
You live by your stated mission.
You move toward your firm's vision by creating a productive, engaged environment.
You make the inside of your organization the same as your vision for the planet.
You create behavioral norms that make your enterprise blossom.
You create a competitive advantage. Other firms will not easily replicate an ecosystem that maximizes resources.
Our proprietary framework is called The Nine Seeds of A Sustainable Way. We work closely with you and your team members to identify the seeds that are missing, to cultivate those that have yet to yield results, and to harvest -- and leverage -- those that have.
The Nine Seeds are:
Purpose – is unambiguous, well-communicated, and well-understood by all employees and stakeholders.
Profit – greater energy is stored than consumed.
Freedom – to self-organize around organizational Purpose. Freedom of movement, expression, and latitude to develop interests and strengths, along with the freedom to say “no” without negative repercussions: all are qualities of a sustainable workplace.
Well-Understood Limits – an understanding of the human, environmental, and logistical limits of an enterprise. Limits define an organization’s niche, roles, and responsibilities. Limits contribute to trust and security - and safeguard behavioral and logistical overshoot. Limits spur innovation. Limits must be communicated and enforced to spur performance.
Feedback and Learning Orientation – feedback systems allow an organization to function at the “edge of chaos,” and to find homeostasis – the interval between overshoot and lethargy. Without effective feedback systems, an organization is vulnerable to its competitors and operating environment. Continuous learning on both system and individual levels is a best practice of information-age companies.
Innovation – insures survival in the midst of a changing environment. An innovative workplace can adeptly respond to unexpected challenges and opportunities with new ideas, products, and even new forms of organizational structure and behavior.
Diversity – diversity and specialization ensure a variety of thoughts, viewpoints, products…and action. A diverse organization is in synch with the larger ecosystem in which it exists - and serves.
Adaptability – seeing the current reality for what it is, and aligning behavior with desired outcomes. Course-correction is a hallmark of healthy natural ecosystems.
Interdependence – perhaps the most critical hallmark of healthy ecosystems. Simply put, the greater the interdependence, the greater the synergies, which translate into dynamism, superior output, and profits.