On the train

Have been meaning to post this for a while now.

A couple of weeks ago I was on a train that ‘had an altercation’ with a person who apparently had decided to part with the world. When the announcement came across the PA that there was a fatality and that we would be delayed at least 2 hours, there was a large outcry from many of the passengers in my car that went something like this: “Oh man… now I’m going to be late. What an inconvenience. This sucks.”

Wow. What an example of our society.

My love to the friends and family of the ‘fatality’, to the train engineers, to the little 4 year old girl 4 seats back from me that heard the server on our car declare that “it hit just past the engine… and at first I thought it was a big branch.”

Peace to everyone.

P>E>P

I’ve just come up with a simple image that I’m starting work with in my exploration of how to apply the entrepreneurial approach in service of restoring balance among people and the planet. Right now, I’m seeing the process as a balance of push and pull with the space in between those being where opportunity and innovation emerges, and what I see as the work of the entrepreneurial process. It’s about creating that space and creating the conditions of push and pull that prompt what’s most helpful to emerge.

Scaling up the social finance marketplace in Canada.

Here’s an interesting map from http://www.xigi.net/ giving an overview of the latest initiative I’m co-creating. If you haven’t checked-out xigi.net… take a look. A very interesting tool that’s growing quickly and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the global marketplace that invests in good. Anyone else get the feeling that this ‘marketplace’ is really starting to take off?



make your own map at
www.xigi.net

My latest presentations.

Here are the latest presentations on the directions that are really interesting me right now. Take a look and send me any thoughts, comments, connections. It grows and gains momentum with the attention of others.

Accelerating the collective potential of individual change:

Systematically applying the entrepreneurial approach:
(UPDATED: April 19, 2007)

For benefit/community interest corporations.

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.

How authentic are you?

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.

Accelerating the Collective Potential for Positive Change

I’ve just come across www.slideshare.net and figured I’d try it using the latest version of the presentation (here) that I’m working with on the topic of accelerating the collection potential for positive change.

Let’s see how this works… and of course… I’m always interested in feedback!

To the point… .

So this is what it comes down to:

I’m exploring:
– 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!

What’s got my attention.

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.