Sustainable business is fundamentally about changing the values which underpin how we do business – so it is not just about doing different business but about doing business differently. This requires an understanding of the ethical values which inform how business is to be conducted and I believe that currently these values are not clear or expressly stated.
As we all work towards a more sustainable future we need to have a collective discussion about this change.
Currently, the dominant argument would be that ‘business is just business’ and moral or ethical debates need to be undertaken in other arenas. I believe that business is exactly the right arena for not just discussing but also practising what our values are and how we manifest them.
Sustainable business changes everything. A new operating system is needed and here are some of the new rules that I believe we must incorporate into our business practices. These will be fully elaborated on in future podcasts, blogs and articles to accompany this series. This will hopefully be a ‘learning by doing’ experience for all of us.
Business Model for Clearly Sustainable
I will use the development of this business Clearly Sustainable as an exploration of what I see as the ‘operating system’ for sustainable business. There are several themes and approaches I am taking as s future business model and which I think are important to understand and explain:
Believe first – Manifest later OR Jump now, look down after! (but make sure you jump into your truth)
This is about developing strategy which can no longer start from the point of the goal but needs to instead start from identifying what is mine/ours to do and then it will come into being
Attention follows Intention – Energy follows Attention
Clarity around our goals brings energy to the work so long as the Intention is aligned so the order of how we do this is very important. If the intention is not in line with our values then we won’t give it the attention needed and so the energy won’t be available to us.
It is not worth anybody’s time but is worth everybody’s time – OR Learn to Collaborate
Because so much of what we want to achieve under sustainability is about sharing value and this demands that we learn to go together – which is slower, more challenging, more skilled but ultimately takes us further and is more rewarding
Blur the boundaries – dealing with uncertainty – living on the edge
Our way of looking at the world has been to separate it into its parts and to act as if everything can be ‘either this or that’ – we believe that it is really more about ‘and/also’ focussing on the bits in between the parts, on the boundaries, on the edges. All the exciting stuff happens here. It is inherently more uncertain so learning to live and work with uncertainty is a skill as well as a philosophy
Fair Trade/Fare Trade – Shared Value – explaining my pricing policies
If sustainability is about sharing values then that must be reflected in how prices and revenues are set and shared amongst the stakeholders. I believe that people are basically honest and trustworthy and I will set my fees in negotiation with my coaching clients. I believe that I have some very good skills and experience to offer and that I can help people to really embed sustainability into their personal and professional lives. I will outline my schedule of fees and ask potential clients to select which fee they think they can afford and what they believe may services are worth. I will ask that they submit their personal details and we can discuss what we both believe is fair before starting work. I will commit to maintaining at least 15% of my clients on a reduced or pro-bono basis based on information given to me and through negotiation. I am open to trading services where practicable and if that would suit some clients. I believe this is both a fair trade and a fare trade!