The U.K. and soon the U.S. are putting together some great new hybrid models that look to engage the power of the capital markets in ventures that are created strictly in community interest. Take a look here for a primer on the U.K. model and here for launch pad to some of the U.S. work. Seeing the evolution of markets is a wonderful thing.
I just saw two interesting perspectives on connecting with what people care about. One of which is from client/collaborator Communicopia in this presentation and one is in this article in Canadian Business titled “Sell More by Creating Desire”.
This theme is something I’m seeing more and more everyday particularly with the steady growth in popularity of social and environmental justice issues. Whether it’s a company giving to a charity, creating a new product, or simply your own efforts to make a difference the durability and success are anchored in authenticity — is it connected with the true nature of who you are as an organization or an individual?
In the presentation the basis of this is understanding the core of who you are (as an individual or an organization), what you are here to do, and what the value is in what you have to offer. In the case of the article, the idea is more about trying to perceive what people are really seeking in their lives and give them something that aims to satiat that seeking. The trouble with trying to figure out what it is that people are seeking is that it is incredibly transient and shifts with the times and with the trends. It’s also not based on what you are uniquely good at so begins to take on the feeling of a cheap knock-off, pr ‘spin’, or other pile of bs.
We all know that feeling of something quality, integrity, and substance when we come across it. It something that only comes when it’s anchored in what’s true and when the experience and communication speaks directly to the truth. That’s when people can start to form real connections with the organisation or individual behind the product or message. Doing things the otherway around is well… an effort in futility… except for the consultant you’ve hired to work really hard to create something that doesn’t exist.
That said, knowing ourselves is a very difficult thing to do. In my experience with emerging entities this takes a healthy amount of time, courage, and integrity. Think about it for yourself or your organization. Do you really know why you are here? What’s the core purpose that you are here to fulfill and what’s your truly unique contribution in doing that?
For a good overview and some great examples of this stuff from the organizational perspective you can purchase a great article here. Of course, you can always go hire a consultant – either way, good luck, you’ll get what you want. Just remember – the only thing that’s authentic will be finding your truth – not adopting someone elses.
So this is what it comes down to:
– ways to accelerate the individual capacity for positive change
– ways to systematically, repeatably, apply the entrepreneurial approach toward environmental and social justice
The principles I’m working from:
– The community holds the knowledge and experience.
– We facilitate their wisdom
– We orchestrate their solution
So… if anyone has anything that maybe relevant (connections, docs, initiatives, etc.) to either of those areas that I’m exploring, I’d love to hear about them!
This process all started with me trying to get a feeling for two things:
– what am I uniquely able to do?
– where do I want to focus my attention?
Of course those questions both prompt deeper questions – which have been a big part of my journey lately – but what I came up with that best captured it for me was the statement I’ve been sharing: co-creating entities and initiatives in service of restoring balance among people and the planet.
The first part is where this venturing approach that I’ve been developing came out of – a way of trying to capture my experiences into a repeatable process that would be able to achieve greater results/impact.
The second part was a little trickier because it implied that I had a vision of what balance looked like. If not, then how would I know what would help achieve that. Well that posed a tricky problem because well… who can predict the future – really?
In asking those questions though, and going through the desire to start a company to do this to just getting a couple of sample projects going to finding myself in the middle of an example unexpectedly, what I find myself left with are two things that seem to be holding my attention. And those are:
– in what way could people individually be opened to more positive change?
– what is it in the entrepreneurial approach that brings people together for positive change?
For me these are deeper than my attachments to specific models or viewpoints and are opening up a new avenues of exploring them. In a way, I don’t even have to worry about what I ‘do’ anymore, my collective experiences and ability naturally informs the choices I’m making and the opportunities that are arising.
Funny… I’ve gone from vowing not to start a company, to trying to get one going, and am back to not having anything to start. And in all of it, I am actually doing a project that’s an example of the model I was so attached to, and am having more and more fun every day.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
I just read a very interesting paper called “The Future of Global Action Networks” (look for the document link a little ways down the page). What was interesting, was not necessarily the discussion of “Global Action Networks” but the underlying observations on how they operate and are setup. From my perspective, these approaches to organizations are going to be fundamentally important to the most relevant organizations of tomorrow.
If anyone has done or wants to do a summary of this document please let me know. I’d love to post it here.
This has been one of those rare reads for me… something I’m sure I’ll be referencing for many years to come.
Well, I’m back.
It’s been an interesting start to the year and I’m starting to test some of the examples of this ‘model’ I’ve been developing and have actually, unbeknown to me, wound up in a project that actually represents the model I’m developing (funny how that happens). I guess that’s partly because, as with most things, the model isn’t really new. It’s essentially just an intentional version of the common entrepreneurial approach. What seems to strike people most however is not the approach but the idea that the seed financing happens before there’s even an idea… where there is only an intention for some sort of result or impact.
It’s amazing to watch the resistance come around that one aspect in particular. So much seems to be bundled around money and the power the holder of it can have over those that want it. Mess with money and you mess with control… or so it’s perceived. Really they are separate issues.
In my experience actually, only once money and control are dealt with separately does the ability to set the most helpful controls in place emerge. In a way it serves as a useful test in getting to know a partner. If the conversation gets into the ways of setting up the controls, I know we’re on the same page. If it’s stuck on returns and percentages we’re in opposite ends of the bookstore.
Am curious to see what resistance emerges next. For now back into crafting the docs.
Following up on my conversation post earlier… I just got off the phone with another connection by the same person. The ‘magic’ happened again. This time I consciously took my learning from the previous post into the call and it took the conversation even further. I guess it’s not really magic after all. My gratitude for the relationships I have just continues to grow. Thanks!
I was just helping a client do a last-minute media launch for something we expected to get a lot of traffic. Naturally I asked one of my long-time communications collaborators to help out. He agreed and we agreed on costs etc… quick/fair/reasonable.
Well… as sometimes happens it didn’t come off as we expected and the results were disappointing. I just got a note about this from my colleague with the additional comment:
On another note, given the poor results of this campaign, unless things
change considerably I don’t plan on charging for any of my time; only the
Of course, this is magic to the client’s ears but it’s also a reflection of the trust and professionalism that comes with having a long-term relationship. It’s actions like these that make it possible for companies that are getting going to be able to take some risks… sometimes they pay off… and sometimes they don’t. But, not having to pay for it means they’ll be able to try again.
Yesterday, I had a great conversation with someone that a friend/colleague/client thought might be a worthwhile introduction. And he was right. The conversation was enjoyable and very helpful. Similar to the conversation a couple of weeks ago that had me step back from the full-blown financial model and pitch deck to trying to apply the venturing process I am suggesting to the creation of what I’m building… this one prompted another launch path that fit with both my entrepreneurial drive to ‘push’ something forward, and also with the process I’m suggesting.
What’s interesting is that it wasn’t that it was a new approach that I hadn’t considered but rather the conversation prompted me to revisit the idea and see it differently. And it didn’t come from the direct suggestion or intent of the person I was talking with. So what in that conversation helped it emerge?
- Personally we hit it off with common interests, experiences and perspectives.
- The conversation was a sharing of ideas and experiences vs. an attempt to inform/critique/advise.
- We both were more interested in helping and learning than selling and telling.
I guess the other question to ask is what prompted the conversation to happen?
- My friend/colleague/client knew me, who I am, and what I’m working on.
- Something in his conversation the person he connected me to gave him the impression that there would be a) a personal connection b) the potential for either one of us to be helpful to the other.
- He took the initiative to make the introduction.
So what? I guess it comes down to:
- Nurture meaningful relationships
- Share what I’m working on and what I need to make it happen
- Make and follow-up on connections for and by those I have meaningful relationships with
- Be helpful
- Interact by sharing and learning
Oh and now that I can harness that entrepreneurial drive again… back to work on the other launch path!
Thanks for the conversation!