Open Future Image New ways to do Business
Given that business as usual has to cease, we need to discover new ways to do business that can continue. How, we don’t know, but we need to be committed to that objective anyway.

Thriving Businesses

A Sense of Purpose

The most common need is to think long term. We need to think about food, water, and energy; the growing gap between the rich and the poor. The mark of every golden age is that children are the most important members of society. If a company has a sense of purpose it begins to create space where people can do good work. Everything is changing quickly, but people don't change quickly. A sense of purpose has to reach to the essence of who we are. What is the meaning of the word company?

Peter Senge

10 Green Lessons from the Sustainable Operations Summit

Last week I attended the Sustainable Operations Summit in New York, where I had the chance to hear many interesting and smart people, from President Bill Clinton to Amory Lovins, talk about the green economy. The summit, which got some attention due to its refusal to let Dogwood Alliance participate because the organizers were afraid it will lead to a confrontation with YUM! Brands' representative, provided some very interesting insights about business and sustainability.

Here are 10 takeaways I believe provide valuable lessons, or at least some food for thought.

1. Wake up and smell the climate change
“We can have a good faith debate on solutions to climate change. We cannot have a good faith debate on its reality.” Dr. Michael Mann, one of the scientists climate skeptics like to hate and the author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, made sure the audience won't forget we're still not done with the climate change debate.

Those who didn't understand what he was talking about probably didn't hear Mitt Romney sayin a speech last October, “my view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”

2. Don't look for answers in the U.S. Army
“If we use the military as a litmus test if something is good or bad we become Pakistan. And we don't want to be Pakistan.” Col. Mark Mykleby (Ret.), ethics and leadership strategist at LRN reminded us (myself included) that while it's great that the Army is one of the green leaders in the U.S., it's also a troubling sign from a societal point of view.

3. The sustainability challenge
“How do you make the product more sustainable and keep everything else?” Andrew Winston explained the challenge companies face in making products for customers, who are generally willing to embrace sustainability as long as it doesn't cost more.

(More) Original story here.

By Raz Godelnik | April 26th, 2012

Aspen Chamber Resort Association Cuts Ties With U.S. Chamber Over Climate Change

At their annual retreat Tuesday morning, Aspen Chamber Resort Association board members voted 11-1 to cut ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of a disagreement over the national organization's policy of disregarding man's effect on climate change. [Aspen Times]

Climate change is one of the great challenges of this century, and the country needs a big, realistic debate about policy to address the threat. We encourage Mr. Obama to follow through on his words, giving the issue — and truly serious ways to deal with it — the prominence they deserve in this year's election. [Washington Post Editorial]

Forecast the Facts, the activist group that first confronted GM about its support of climate change doubters the Heartland Institute, now plans to muster a public campaign targeting the Discovery Channel. The purpose: to get Discovery to acknowledge the scientific consensus on man-made climate change in its programming. [Los Angeles Times]

(More) Original story here.

By Stephen Lacey on Apr 26, 2012

Farmer bucks upward spiral in petrol price

This story is from South Africa
A CABBAGE-farming preacher has bucked high petrol prices by turning to horse power to plough his land.

Although he has seemingly moved the hands of time back to an era when life was a lot slower, Grahamstown’s Shawn Warren insists he still manages to get the work done as quickly as a tractor – but at a fraction of the price.

“You are working in nature, there is no pollution and the horse residue (manure) helps to fertilise the cabbages,” the 42-year-old quipped.

“It is also a very therapeutic stress reliever that keeps me fit and healthy at the same time.”

A jack-of-all-trades, Warren lives on a smallholding next door to Waainek Prison on the outskirts of the City of Saints with his wife, Gerrie, three kids and 52 horses.

The farming preacher decided to train two cart horses to work the land after being shocked at how much locals charged for a tractor and driver to do the same work.

“I borrowed a tractor to break the ground when I first started planting cabbages and quickly realised the cost of petrol and wear-and-tear was phenomenal,” he recalled.

And to make matters worse, the specially hired tractor soon got bogged down in the muddy field for hours on end – before he was saddled with a hefty hire bill.

“That is when I decided six months ago to use horses to plough and harvest.” Rotating the grunt work between eager cart horses Tiny and Crystal, a bonus of growing cabbages is that the steeds also enjoy the fruits of their labour.

(More) Original story here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Next Ten Years

This video is 1 hour and 25 minutes long. Well worth the time. When I get a chance I’ll write some notes for you.
Peter Senge makes some credible claims that business will change a lot in the next ten years.