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Many years ago I went to university to learn how to knit.
Since then I spent many years knitting an almost perfect jersey. It was awesome. It fitted almost perfectly and was extremely comfortable. I felt very proud of it.
Then a couple of years ago I met an American called Bill Veltrop. As I was speaking with him I noticed a loose thread in my beautiful jersey. Although I knew I shouldn't, I felt compelled to pull at the thread. Soon the whole jersey unravelled and it was just a pile of wool on the floor.
At first I was appalled that my life's work had come undone so quickly and easily; but then I realised that I still had the wool and how I could reknit it into a more resilient jersey.
Just in case my meaning is too obscure, the pile of wool on the floor was my realisation that business is causing major damage to the world because it is based on unsustainable elements like never-ending growth, material wealth and accountant's profit. And worse, I've been contributing to this my whole life.
However, as I've worked through these issues, it has also become clear to me that business is now the only hope we have for a better world. Governments, NGO's and individuals can help, but only business has the capacity to make a sufficient difference. But, to move from 'breaker of the world' to 'maker of the world,' business will need to change. We need business that cares for its people, business that measures what is important, business that is more bottom up and business that cooperates with nature.
The pattern for the second jersey will be built on abundant elements that are totally sustainable like more depth, more connection, more understanding and more meaning), indeed, these elements become stronger as they are used. It will be reinforced with cross-stitching that will make it more resilient, and help ensure against organisational unraveling, no matter what the challenge. It will replace silos with beanbags and a greater emphasis on developing staff so everyone reaches their full potential.
So what was Bill Veltrop talking to me about? It was the Blue Star Future Project. Knitting with this new pattern will lead business to a better future through:
If you'd like to self-assess your organisation on the Breaker to Maker scale download this assessment tool.
Virtual Group Business Consultants
free phone: 0800 4 virtual or +644 570 0727 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills.