Monday, April 28, 2008

Process not Personality

Corporate America has Darwinist character, the most adaptable thrive. Winning ideologies increase shareholder value. To pull this off companies need to have processes that are scalable. A designed centric business will function with discipline and confidence. Yet, even the best business designs need to adapt to consumers even changing perception of what your brand stands for. To keep up innovation and flexibility are key. Experienced personalities often excel in achieving short-term results. But a company needs to know why it’s successful so it can share that information and reinforce the behavior. This systemization goes against the creative personality, vital for innovative new ideas. Therefore, the key contradiction to overcome is how to balance process control with creative personalities.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rome & MPR

So on an early morning in late March my brother gets a call from my cousin inviting him to join my extended family for a last minute trip to Rome. One of the reasons I thought he should go was they were staying with the Brudvig’s. The Brudvig’s have been family friends for as a long as I can remember and Lee has an interesting and successful career with the State Department. Right now Lee stationed at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Agencies in Rome and is working with the UN’s World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization.

Coincidentally, this morning MPR did a story on the fight against hunger and interviewed Tony Hall. Tony Hall was the previous ambassador of the embassy where Lee works, which is right in the neck of woods where my brother and extended family are traveling.

It’s a small world after all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Natural Step

As a long time advocate I’ve realize sustainability is still a very nebulous concept. Despite all of media hoopla on greenwashing and glossy corporate social responsibility reports, I think very few people really grasp what being sustainable really is. To my relief I attend a class put on by Responsible Minnesota Business on The Natural Step Framework (NSF).

You may ask, why is the NSF such a relief? Because it gives a simple yet comprehensive approach for how individuals and organization can be more sustainable. Its four principals embody basic science and systems thinking to come up with an approach that both grade school kids and corporate executives can understand.

Basically the NSF is: 1 what we take, 2 make and 3 break to meet basic human needs 4. This nifty diagram that shows what I mean (and its linked to where i found it if you'd like to read more.)

Like good design simple, yet sufficient.