Posted at 05:42 PM in #wecarehealth, AboutWorkEcology, ArtKleiner.com, Compensation, Culture of Change, Current Affairs, Ecological Economics, Economy, Health, Healthy Community, Science, WECare, WorkEcology Insight Note, WorkEcology.com | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Art Kleiner, Beyond the GDP, Charlie Rose, Culture of Change, Economy, Education, Jobs, John Sexton, WeCare Health, Well Being, Work Force, WorkEcology
This post is a comment in response to Bill Shireman's editorial on Huffington Post. The Trackback URL is connected to this post.
I convened a leadership dialogue in the Bay Area in 1993 and since then I have participated in similar types of discussions. The conclusion of these conversations is always the same. We have outgrown our system of government. I see that now more than every. How can we expect one person, e.g. Obama to save the day.
There is much work to do and miles to go that should insure that people like you and me are funded and consistently doing our share of work to address the issue you have summarized here of most importance. We simply have to find resources and funding for the hard work needed. Thank you for your excellent work. I have just announced to my community on Linkedin.com that we are now focused on doing our work our work re: health from a global perspective.
To limit the work we have ahead of us within the US will not move us forward.
The US now ranks No. 7 of the western countries examining their health care systems - cost twice as much and provides the poorest quality ranked with Germany, UK, AU, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada.
Massachusetts was the first state to introduce health care reform. This has resulted in increased emergency room visits and expense. Will US health care chose to support our program, participate or move into the category of "a place of no return?" Time will tell.
My Neural Network of Inspiration
Through Joan Borysenko, I learned about Peggy La Cerra's work on neural networks and the impact of neural networks on positive consciousness. As a result, I started digging more into Peggy's work on consciousness. After reading her most recent editorial in Spirtuality and Health, it did not take me long to remember a book that I read a few years back by Ervin's Laszlo on the Akashic Field that describes where spirituality meets science. By late Sunday night, I was rereading everything I enjoy and value about Multiple Intelligence and the work of Howard Gardner that have sparked new horizons in the disciplines of leadership, education and health.
All this synthezing spurred my imagination and creative process to begin to think thro ugh a new approach for developing a new scheme of thought leadership material my forthcoming book, The Tale of Meaningful Use. I have refocused to examine how to tell the story of where the intersection of science meets spirituality and healing. This is challenging subject matter to conceive and frame, and to embed in a culture of positive intention and healing.
Right now it seems very timely to convene people from science, investments and health to create a neural network of condition that inspires a change in scientific practice that builds sustainable practices for health, environment and economy.
The inspiration for this new line was a result of some wandering around I did this week attending events and investigating some stories and work of other people.
1. First, I attended a meeting of the Epilepsy Advocates hosted and funded by UCB Pharma. UCB has funded a unique program that I saw need for in the mid-90's after advocating for a family with a son, who had tonic seizure disorder. There was no easy way to synthesize the knowledge about seizures at this time, even with my exceptional skill of research and ability to contact and interview the intelligence that surrounded epilepsy at that time. The activity I sustained for Epilepsy, I found had relevance for numerous other communities of people suffering with or learning to construct a quality of life after a chronic or life threatening diagnosis.
My inquiring mind, assessed and synthesized what I knew about health, scientific research, medication, clinical trials and alternative medicine: how anyone who was chronically ill could claim a quality of life in the United States that assured them the capacity to function in the best way possible even when there was no cure.
There is an increase of people and families afflicted with this challenging diagnosis. There are now 68K elderly and a total of 200K people diagnosed annually with some form of seizure disorder. Seizure disorder usually accompanies another form of chronic or life threatening illness and results in a challenging pathway the patient and caregivers similar to what was depicted in the movie Lorenzo's Oil relative to Aleuko Dystrophy (ALD). Lorenzo's Oil is part of the AboutWorkEcology Film Roster.
While neither UCB or the Epilepsy Foundation are directly addressing issues of the cost of medications and access to the quality brand medication that works for all patients, this program was an exquisite representation of what kind of progress can be achieved through education that is patient centric.
2. In talking with Peggy LaCerra @ Joan's FB page in the company of some other good people, I was reminded how limiting I often see the new age movement in the US for all its glory. The focus seems to be so deeply on empowering an individual to act and claim a power of consciousness to take control over his/her life without regard for the complexity of circumstance that surrounds this person, e.g. economy, health and environment.
This raised a red flag for me in thinking about the people and communities harmed by the BP Oil Spill.
I see the region and people afflicted by the harm of this spill as individuals, families and communities of people faced with responding and learning through a crisis of change which most individuals cannot survive on their own. A case in point simply is the impact we know already on human health re: Benzene and how it can implode a rise in lymphoma and leukemia.
Bottom line, people have been inflicted and exposed to a form of harm that requires a response that is far greater than any one individual can muster.
This left me with 2 questions
a. How do we construct a health system to surround these people in the context of a new format of consciousness that assures everyone the resources they need to live and sustain?
b. How do we move beyond the boundaries of the economic system and mess that surrounds the US Federal Government and BP --- which empowers the world of blame and devastation? instead of empowering the opportunity for growth in our consciousness to work with others to create a neural network of conversation that gives rise to a quality transformation based on consciousness and quality science?
3. Everyone needs some good entertainment and work in front of them when the influx of media and news is depressing. In fact,
Paul Krugman's New York Times' editorial on Where did the Economists Go Wrong? inspired me, opposite what one would think in reading about how Paul views that the global recession has become a depression and why that is so.
The basis for Paul's editorial gives me a foundation from which to frame and present my own work as a positive opportunity and response. Paul believes that those who have money to spend have stopped spending it and therefore the response to the downturn in inhibiting innovation and creativity for much needed change. Paul also asserted that one significant symptom of the problem is that our system of government globally as reflected in conversations that surround the G-20, are out of date and not responsive to the change that is needed on a societal and global scale.
The real grappling for me at this time, comes with trying to gain an understanding of what conditions can give rise to a more rapid method of meaningful discovery of science that impacts the growing array of diseases that have resulted in 1 our of every 2 American's living with a chronic or life threatening illness and the recent news that 41% of Americans have cancer.
Is it solely about praying for miracles or can we stand behind people like the Crowley Family,
who organized themselves to care for two kids in need of treatment for Pompe Disease, where there was no scientific evidence that a treatment was possible. Dad John Crowley out of the inspiration he saw in his daughters will to live after a week of 3 near death experiences went out and raised the $100M required to assure the research that resulted in the clinical trial that saved her and her brother's life. While Crowly a BioTech Executive supported himself in the discovery process, he did not stop short of resigning to assure the ethic required (no conflict of interest) so his kids could be eligible for a sibling clinical trial.
You have to wonder why in this culture where there is money to fund activities like this, emotions and anger have to be part of the path of consciousness on the path to discovery which is a less than satisfying positive experience.
The research that was the real icing on the cake for me this week, came out of reading Ingredients for Sustainability: Sustainability report 2010/2009 for Danisco. I saw the announcement that the report was available on the website from @jeffreyhogue,
VP of Corporate Sustainability on my hootesuite dashboard for @workecology.
Danisco is a top 10 global leader in biotechnology. Danisco has a workforce of 6800 people who have formed a stakeholder engagement based on a a possibilistic risk assessment and future scenario. Danisco has chosen the top 4 most challenging areas of sustainability relative to its company and network of outreach business to business that include:
1. Food - reduce excessive waste, inefficiencies in production and challenges presented by a degrading environment:
2. Health - identify and act on the implications of an aging population of people who are obese and malnourished;
3. Energy - move from use of oil based energy to renewables;
4. Chemicals - find biobased alternatives with which to replace petrol based chemicals:
Danisco's claim and key driver to taking such a complex agenda few leaders would be willing to tackle. Of its 6800 person workforce, 80% of Danisco employees are inspired by an agenda of sustainability and view this kind of agenda an opportunity to use innovation as a key driver of influence to draw on imagination and creativity to create a "new reality."
While many people and companies use the excuse that sustainability is to complex, to costly and too difficult to innovate, within the Danisco report is a story and organization of achievements and metrics that assure innovation, progress and change.
Last Thursday when I received a link to this report, I was captured by its layout, presentation, journalism quality and much more. I replied to Jeffrey's twitter, "@JeffreyHogue, Extracting from how you map out the ingredient of your report.
I learned all of this from my initial skim of the report. By Sunday night, I learned that Danisco has "embedded a format of education," into its culture. The report left me with an impression that where While the report scored an A+ from GRI and achieved Deloitte stamp of approval, I found this report distinct from all other reports I have read in story, format, graphics and journalism.
This report conveyed to me that Danisco leaders have brought to life a company culture of change based on the key driver of innovation. This innovation practice had embedded a new format of education that I so frequently write about as a possibility. Danisco has made this culture real.
I am now organizing questions and a more detailed review of the report to deepen my understanding of this report. I want to learn how the authors, contributors and team that worked on this report brought to life so effectively through graphics, technology and journalism a description of a company at work that has actualizes sustainability through stakeholder engagement.
I want to capture a story fundamental to Danisco's mission, purpose and vision that conveys a story of why challenging opportunity is a qualification for the next wave of Sustainable Investing and a forum in which some of the most challenging issues relative to health, chemicals, foods and supply chains can be addressed for the common good.
Whether Danisco can or chooses to cooperate with me, I most appreciate this report for the possibility it represents for my documenting proof of concept regarding a thought leadership I have been midwifing for many years. Thanks you Danisco.
Good week to all,
Posted at 06:51 PM in #griconference, #safechem, #sustainnow, #wecarehealth, AboutWorkEcology, Culture of Change, Ecological Economics, Ecological Footprint for Health, Economy, Healing Stories, Health, WECare, WECareMetricsofHealth Newsnotes | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: #griconference, #sustainnow, #unglobalcompact, Crowley Family, Culture of Change, Danisco, embedding education, Ervin Laszlo, Howard Gardner, Jeffrey Hogue, Joan Borysenko, Peggy La Cerra, Pompe, WeCareHealth
A personal note from Lavinia Weissman:
AboutWorkecology is a place for me to record reflections on the extensive research I performed and organized to inspire a culture of change for CSR and Sustainable Management Education.
1. professional development and education;
2. occupation and personal health
3. compensation that rewards people for working wisely to live well to resource their health, learning and personal life cycle needs.
This blog post is WorkEcology.com's first reflective annotation that will be integrated into a new updated curriculum for leaders and their communities to "up the ante for CSR and Sustainability" in how they work and live. Our first curriculum, The Foundations of Portfolio Work - Core Group Theory and Related Practices, will continue to be available @ WorkEcology.com, until our new portal and blog activity emerges from our current stage of learning.
I have formed an initial advisory group to learn with me with the hope to build this activity to be community and member responsive. I have been retained by our first leadership beta client and after a years worth of research, writing and work made it to board and chairperson review by two professional associations to build a system of learning that can shape this curriculum to be relevant to the practice of personal health and health care through the adoption of social media, web based learning tools and the design and structuring of learning communities drawn from our future members.
Please join in the discussion here if what we share with you inspires your thinking. Share your thoughts with our readership that has doubled in size over the past 3 months to more than 10 readers per day.
Today's post begins now.
Nancy is a communication specialist with a background in clean energy and climate change recently joined the team at Seventh Generation along with Jeffrey Hollender's co-author,m Bill Breen. People with Nancy and Bill's background in my opinion are a welcome resource in CSR and have lots of value to contribute to CSR education by joining a company that values CSR. Nancy Baron like most knowledge workers today has an eclectic portfolio of background that includes being a communication specialist in clean energy & climate change while running her own bed and breakfast in Vermont. Bill Breen, a former Fast Company Editor was named Editorial Director for Seventh Generation January 2008.
Within an hour of receipt of this book, I was reading this book from the point of view of learning and inquiry. When I completed my first read through, I was clear this book should be position as a quality primer for CSR and Sustainable Management Leadership Education.
The Responsibility Revolution should be given to anyone being mentored in a CSR leadership program with authored by Chris Laszlo. Chris is Founder and CEO of Sustainable Value Partners and Sustainable Business Faculty to Case Western's Weatherhead School of Management. All these men have been dedicating time and resource to creating a new format for education in CSR and Sustainability.
All these authors through their direct work and writing have taken the "greenwash out of CSR and provided a concrete view;"--Hollender as a CEO, Breen as a Inspiring Protagonist and Laszlo as a Strategist, Economist and Global Thought Leader.
The stories and case studies contained within these books put an end to the myth and fallacy that CSR is only a marketing or public relations venue. Both these books push leaders to think otherwise and actually learn what the impact is when CSR is put into practice by integrating CSR values and principles into strategy and action plans.
I chose to annotate both books in the same annotation by evaluating my experience of reading them, the value of the learning they provide and the hidden assets within each book that can help me define the next generation of opportunity, where so many are asking the question, "What will it take to build CSR practices into a more widespread adoption?"
The authors of both books, make it clear that CSR is not simply a responsibility of economic decision makers, who answer to investors; CSR works best when organizations are led to inspire their entire workforce, supply chain and all other stakeholders to learn and translate CSR into practice. The case studies demonstrate that CSR can led into an high performance outcome.
Questions and Dialogue to Reflect On
While I thought about what I wanted to leave the readers of this annotation with through what I wrote, I read a book review by Madeline Ravich
@ Justmeans.com titled, "Can Seventh Generation's CSR lessons influence the mainstream?" While the review was excellent food for thought, the word, "mainstream" captured my attention. In my opinion there is no such thing as a mainstream anymore; there is such diversity in the market that CSR adoption has to factor significant cultural spans in practice and every company or organization that adopts this thought leadership into practice needs to find a beginning from which to begin and find a method of monitoring that works to guide a group of people learning into a sustainable future.
The Higher Purpose Company. With numerous of her peers and colleagues, including Elaine and myself, Christina is currently examining the question, "Are corporate social responsibility rankings irresponsible?" Elaine
is Founder and Co-Leader a consulting firm, Beyond Business, Ltd. specialising in CSR strategy, processes and social accounting, reporting and assurance. Elaine is a contributor to Corporate Register, a hub that tracks CSR Reporting across 6238 companies and is adding great value and experience to this conversation.
Breen and Hollender provide some input at Huffington Post this past weekend on the Six Obstacles to CSR. This post outlines crucial areas to watch and addresses a larger complaint I hear re: CSR, which is CSR is too broad and hard to address in a focused way. Build on the quality work that Cohen and Arena provide, any company can organize a monitoring scheme that focused on a good beginning and then work with me to set up a company wide education program using inquiry and social media, so no one in a network can opt out and say, I am confused, I don't understand CSR.
Getting to the Heart of a CSR that Matters
Breen, Hollender and Laszlo have all worked to inspire a level of innovation and practice in the initial cycle of establishing the thought leadership of Sustainable Value and CSR into practice as leaders who shareholders, economic decision makers and early stage investors are willing to go to the bank for to invest in what is perceived risky business initiatives.
These authors provide a depth of imagination that is not common practice within a majority of companies today. From a perspective of the Fortune 2000 or the more entrepreneurial view of social venture, these books capture the valuable story of what was learned in the first phase of early adoption and how a culture of change inspired the results.
Part of the culture of change reflected in both books is the impact of a woman's perspective. Both these leaders value that point of view by describing scenarios that are the "dream" of many women; many women who have left working in the Fortune 2000 and started their own companies or found a social venture culture in which they can express themselves more authentically.
Laszlo starts this way in Chapter 1; He introduces his readers to Deena Marsteng, Age 32, General Manager for a global company that manufactures light weight plastics and she is responsible for factories in 3 continents. reates a method of drawing her "no-nonsense team and colleagues into a cycle of education and building of new strategy to move from a rank of 23 on a CSR monitoring list out of 25 companies.
This first chapter draws the reader into an experience of what it takes to have a group of people who work together find the imagination and participate in learning events of impact. Laszlo introduces his reader to the idea that CSR is not a practice of "business as usual;" his positioning of this fictitious scenario inspires any traditionally trained MBA or Fortune 2000 business leader to realize the investment and work it takes to go CSR.
Within this scenario, Chris authored a character competent to lead a large organization of people into a system of relevant learning that impacted performance metrics important to that company and while increasing their environmental impact.
Hollender and Breen on the other hand describe a real-life scenario at Seventh Generation inspired by the performance of Susan Johnson, former director of western sales and now Director of Education with a plan to succeed as Seventh Generations Chief Knowledge Officer. Susan who came to Seventh Generation from Tom's of Maine with an excellent track record for managing accounts in 5,000 stores and coops West of the Mississippi.
Susan had a proven success as a coach to wholesale brokers of product and began her career with Seventh Generation showing she could lead an entire retail chain, e.g. Whole Foods, into a path of learning that increased sales for both Seventh Generation and Whole Foods. From my perspective, Susan cultivated through relationship and talent a method of education that resulted in sales, which is in my experience the way women "make sense" of their talent in the company they keep to create a high performance impact.
In the companies where I have worked as a consultant and within my own performance as an internal organization leader, I know that most companies or organizations are so focused on a sales outcome. Often because of this silo based focus of a sales force, leaders miss out on the hidden gold behind that outcome by allocating resources to organize consumer, sales channel that defines company brand and products role in a CSR strategy.
When you can assess and monitor a sales activity built on credible and ethical education, it translates into adoption of the best practices of all the companies segments of operation and final delivery through a channel to a customer. All the case studies portrayed in these books describe an ethic and provide an educational experience of what it takes to scale CSR initiative.
CSR and Sustainability as a Practice
CSR and Sustainability is not a simple practice because it can only succeed in cultures of organizations that recognize that learning is a constant, there is a technical and scientific expertise that can be an seen by some as an "acquired taste." The level of detail and attention required can only come alive in a environment of leadership that is willing to create in action a "viral consciousness," that creates a triple bottom line. In fact, Hollender, et al at one point hired a consultant, Carol Sanford, to facilitate the building of that consciousness.
Every conversation you have must count and inspire values and productivity. As these authors from different perspectives share that leading a CSR company for sustainable value is something that integrates in your life with a very up close and personal personal examination of how you relate to people and lead change. You have to be prepared for failure, being public with your mistakes and learning from market driven to define and take advantage of the opportunity.
Laszlo, Hollender and Breen have created a library and case study format for a broad selection of companies and industries, e.g. WalMart, LaFarge, Dupont, Nike and Medtronics; and companies more boutique in style by nature of market and company founders,e.g. Nature Works, Timberland, Patagonia, Organic Valley, Esty.com. While Laszlo's social network is primarily comprised of Board of Directors and Chairman of the Fortune 2000 who seek to make a social and environmental impact, Hollender and Breen circulate in a network of companies that created the Business for Social Responsibility Revolution, who retain Peter Senge in their advice network and formed the Social Venture Network and a new non profit activity called B-Labs.
The level of transparency is enormous. When a company announces itself to the public that they practice CSR, that means that company, leader or workforce are in for some very tough lessons regarding leadership, authenticity and response to a larger social network most CSR Venture enthusiasts learn on their feet. These leaders learn to live with a constant flow of feedback - good and bad and recognize if they are doing their job they cannot hide.Authenticity is the Key
The people who question you, teach you and challenge you come from a horizontal world and map of connection that is not in any shape or form a hierarchy. It is a spider's web. This brings me to an admission of my own short comings, an apology and description of my own lessons learned.
Over the past few months, I have been working hard to develop a voice for my writing that is more authentic and driven from my value for education that reflects my mission and impacts people and assures that I do not shut down the energy I was unable to use as a woman over the past decade in industry and health care.
I had short conversations with Jeffrey Hollender and Chris Laszlo directly about my own experience as a woman that was about the obstacles I encountered packaging my message for people who did not understand CSR or Sustainability and its relevance to health. In taking this time to grapple, I discovered that too often my authentic voice and perspective were shut down in places where most women no longer want to work. I wanted to find a way to show up to work in these instances and not back off from what I had to offer and find the clients that want to take CSR and Sustainability out of the leadership room and translate it into practice with a wider reach.
The change in my own voice at the present time has required some focus in a new stage of learning, self-reflection and courage to face my own capacity as a professional and personal experience that affirmed that a growing impact of environment and health is possibly becoming one of the most costly issues to the workforce and people around the world and the may be the greatest enforcer of leaving people stuck in poverty. While Jeffrey and Chris conduct their lives with a different voice and professional focus than mine, I know Jeffrey and Chris have learned with a similar depth of reflection and discipline drawing the shared learning of their networks of practice.
Jeffrey's learning cycle as CEO of Seventh Genertion was shared with colleagues through networks that include the Social Venture Network, Society for Organizational Learning and the American Sustainable Business Council. Like many of our shared generation, Jeffrey has come up through the ranks learning on a very steep fire walk. His commitment to creating a culture of consciousness is exceptional and in fact, he built it into the learning conversation as away to ignite others to perform out of the traditional view of managers by hiring Carol Sanford and working with the B-Lab.
Chris Laszlo was mentored from his youth in a cultural communities of Club of Budapest and Club of Rome to seek the expert education that included learning the disciplines and practices of traditional business, gaining an sharp coherent capacity to exercise systems thinking in large scale organization practice and to define the ecology that surrounds the operation of a global company, which operates as its own private economy cross geographical boundaries.
These are two very different experiences which legitimized their work, which can serve as examples to other leaders and people selecting a leader's path. The key to each path is the authenticity each man integrates into his practice and willingness to learn by acting and empowering others to act. CSR and Sustainable Management is a leader's game for which there is no "how to manual."
To some people who watch Laszlo and Hollender in their travels, these men travel in elite circles of very different cultures and methods of learning. Chris was born within educational circles of culture, prestige and thought leadership that birthed the Age of Heretics. Jeffrey's focus and determination brought him into a culture of consciousness that is exceptional. I think the description of "elite" perpetuates a myth of the risk and heretical quality that surrounds CSR, which from my practical view and understanding of innovation, leaders need to stop perpetuating. It has added to the reputation that CSR is a cult or a passing craze.
When someone asks for my experience and what qualifies me to coach leaders and create outreach through education and media to workforce groups of scale, I often describe myself as a person was mentored in a culture by education, life experience and talent that gave me an opportunity to perform with a strong value for cooperation and respect for diversity of expertise and cultural heritage. Key to how I think is the reality of learning to integrate technology and service practices into a thought leadership that is focused on doing no harm that causes damage to people's health and the environment in which they live.
The leaders within our parent's generation that introduced the authors and myself to a value for sustainability wrote the prequel for business for social responsibility that Jeffrey and Chris have professionalized this value because we engaged in dialogue that understood our work had to insure the future for children not yet born. The value for "Seven Generations."
So while I find myself engaging a practice from a different perspective and experience from the men I respect currently and who mentored me in the past, I wish to thank all of them for what I have learned in the dialogue I share with them. They also have shown me respect for my personal need to express myself differently, in particular as a woman.
Once upon a time, I found myself empowered to believe that women can lead and be successful in the man's world. That is not what any women I believe should look to do now. I believe we need to express ourselves and work for the discovery of our own success that is natural to us and take the lead in this second generation of CSR and Sustainable Management to do what we do really well, empower the masses of young people who are described as Generation X, Y and Millennials, into a format of learning that values cooperation by learning individual mastery and discipline of a practice they can share and teach others.
So in reflecting on these most valuable primers about CSR and Sustainable Management, I would suggest this lesson is something people can personalize for themselves by learning from
Bill Breen, Jeffrey Hollender and Chris Laszlo and taking their thinking to heart by intelligently learning with others. Make these principles your own and translate them in ways that are authentic for you. Jeffrey thank you for opening this gate for me to this personal lesson and Chris for letting me learn along your side while I also learned through experiences both professional and personal.
For a taste of what I am talking about you can read Chapter 1 of Sustainable Value and an excerpt from The Responsibility Revolution @ Strategy + Business.com.
Posted at 11:23 AM in #csruptheante, AboutWorkEcology, Books, The Kennedy Reeve Leadership Institute for WeCareHealth, WEAnnotation, WECare, WECareMetricsofHealth Newsnotes, WorkEcology.com | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Bill Breen, Chris Laszlo, CSR, Jeffrey Hollender, Sustainable Management, Sustainable Value, WEAnnotation
Kevin Long asked a question that caught my attention this week,
"Is any one bothered by the fact that they spent $40 million on the Olympic opening ceremonies?"
This question made me think, how would you go about measuring the impact of the Olympics from a sustainability and CSR perspective. While I don't have the answer, this is what I learned......
When someone like Kevin Long, who I respect, drops a question in a social space, sometimes I take a minute to reflect and think on what does this question really mean? Social media, especially twit like/length remarks do not easily convey in 140 characters the real power of the comment of question. So I paused to reflect after Kevin asked his question.
For me, with my background inter sector engagement, I took a grand pause:
I became interested in inter sector engagement at the time I worked to co-produce an annual event in Silicon Valley, a triathalon for kids. This experience introduced me to the world of corporate community relations, volunteerism and philanthropy. I worked on this event in a minor role for one year and then joined as co-producer and it really pushed me to think about these events, the implications, the cash flow and more.
I developed a passion related to this learning and in 2001 I chose to develop a graduate thesis/examination on this practice. I realized in this educational cycle I was being pushed to really understand a degree of corporate citizenship and relationship between sectors well beyond anything I could imagine. I thought there was much for me to learn with others, especially because of the implications of this learning on creating health in society beyond "health care" and learning what metrics are that measure "beyond the gdp." I can't speak to all my work in one single post, but I can share with you why I paused to think about Kevin's question and what I learned.
The Olympics to me is an event of centuries that has seen every challenge known to person-hood. The scale of societal influence on this event and changes influenced by geo-politics, e.g. WWII, Mideast politics, the growing cost and complexity of producing this event and finally the total dollars associated or measured in expenditures from commercial sponsorship to urban planning issues re: housing the games, transportation and implications of how people think in from the perspective of the travel and entertainment/media industry suggests to me a complexity of scale well beyond my imagination; how about yours?
Coincidental to Kevin's question, I received an email notification of an article in Strategy and Business from the desk of Art Kleiner; titled, A Gold-Medal Partnership (free subscription may be required).
The article's author, Michael Payne is the former International Olympic Committee (IOC) Marketing Director. He recently authored a book,
summarizing the history of the Olympics turnaround from near extinction.
In this article, Payne summarizes a picture of thought that is really worth thinking about
With the advancements in technology, site build out, complexity of managing over the last decade budgets for the Olympics have grown from $3.4M in Sydney in 2000 to $11.6M in 2004 in Athens to a projected $3.8B in London for 2010 and much more.
For London Summer Games in 2012, the social impact is seen as enormous in both job creation and a reason to muster resources to address long term infrastructure issues for transportation, environment and housing in a city stirred up by depression/recession.
The costs are already escalating over what was announced as a $3.8B funding package and the government of London is already looking to build an extra $2B above the $3.8B.
How do we measure CSR or Triple bottom line metrics for the Olympics and the impact of such incredible spending. How do we respond to leap in currency expenditures transferring into the bank of one country?
While watching this years Olympics, I felt that it gave such an important message to our youth on what it means to persevere and develop the discipline of practice and effort to compete and what an important message of faith and hope this is.
Is there perhaps a new format ahead for us re: the Olympics where we create local centers of competition to configure results into a global competition. I don't know?
Hats off to Michael Payne for documenting this important history and value of a brand, identity and the co-creation of building a politic, a revenue model and initiative of global scale that shows the world can be organized to cooperate.
What are your thoughts, please add your comments here:
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______________________________From Protest to Exercising Precaution - ElectroMagnetic Radiation Exposure
Hollywood and San Francisco are taking the headlines this month with Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco proposing radiation exposure labels be placed on cell phones; while Oprah has created a No Phone Zone on her website and television show dedicated to reporting on the dangers of cell phones that include dangers of use while driving in addition to reports on radiation levels.I know sometimes it takes a public figure to suffer with a problem like Ted Kennedy who died like Attorney Johnny Cochran of a glioma tumor often viewed as caused by EMF exposure. Larry King gave fame to Dr. Devra Davis on his talk show re: EMF and exercising precaution. These activities proved once again that if you want change in the US, use the mainstream media.
Someone tried to add to this list of fame for the "good of the cause," Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, founder of the Brundtland Commission and author leader for the Earth Charter and Precautionary Principle as a poster child, when it was announced, that Gro was EMF sensitive and did not permit anyone to come into her office with a cell phone.But a combination of my perseverance which some associate with me being patient and others define as my being stubborn led me to ask a question that no one wanted to answer:
"Why can't we create innovation and scientific response through manufacturing that will exercise precaution?"
EMF All Star Line Up
My first article on "Cell Phone Health Hazards: Threat and Opportunity," for Leading Ideas, Strategy+Business On line was published in 2006. This was after my participation and investigation into the hazards of EMF and Non Ionizing Radiation. My report introduced links, people, players in industry and non profits who were engaged in what is now described the post modern environmental movement where
1. Scientific researchers argued with each other on the validity of studies and published conflictual reports that often turned into arguments even the intelligent consumer could understand;
2. The philanthropists who funded the causes gave their support and funding to purist scientist who were investigating the growing impact of EMF exposure through cell phones, cell antenna placement on school building, firehouses and apartment buildings through out major cities; the idea was to fund a growing public media with quality scientific knowledge and intelligence that educated the public on the harm and potential harm of EMF exposure;
3. A growing group of citizens who formed a voice on listservs and exceptionally funded medical related non profits. Some of these scientists were hired to do studies or write reports and recommendations for communities and school systems on how to exercise precaution; one person successfully started a personal consulting to home owners on how to reduce risks.
Many of these people are intelligent people who had experienced harm personally or within their family.I ended up dedicating a specific email, email@example.com (which I no longer read). This email overflowed and was filled with conflicting reports, ideas on how people should and cannot communicate and pleas from people to assure that legislative policy was authored in the US, with the belief that
1. It would ultimately take new legislation and policy to protect people from harm and that quality scientific research could not be funded by corporations directly to insure accuracy of research and a style of reporting that could impact change;
2. Eventually you could read between the lines or through contact learn about the personal stories of researchers who were obstructed at NIH or in academic settings and more; and a view that this cause had to counteract the lobbyists and attorney's hired by Corporate America. The view was American and did not recognize the global nature of the business and how EMF was a global issue and not an American cause.
3. Then I developed a close friendship with two amazing people on line,Eileen O"Connor, Exec. Director of Radiation Research Trust and publisher of ReWire Me Emagazine and Dr. Olle Johansson, a dermatologist and researcher on EMF at the Karolinska Institute. With simple communications and following their work, I learned more rapidly and gained an understanding of possibility that can grow out of a community that does not operate based on the rules or opinion that
Let's leap forward now to 2010 and how this year is shaping re: EMF exposure and related cell phone use and check on the relevance of my question today and where my thinking was at when I wrote my first article for Strategy+Business.The question remains for me how do we incubate innovation that can reduce the risk of EMF exposure and educate people to this very complex area of science that would lead to many forms of "exercising precaution?"
While Oprah and Mayor Newsom are using an effective proven method of education and publicity as we did for dealing with the growing harm of tobacco in the 1980's - EMF exposure is everywhere and something individuals and even small communities cannot control.
Will labels on cell phones, talk shows and web articles from Dr. Oz make a difference. Of course they will. So does all the work of the modern environmentalists who protest, debate, research and write for hours and send out hundreds of press releases. I can honestly say I have witnessed a history of over 10+ years of press releases and articles in media back to the start of Louis Slesin's best reports at Microwave News. Time Magazine and Whole Earth catalogue have long recognized the thoughtful magazine quality of this website.What has changed? and what is needed for response:
A few years back, I interviewed a physician specializing in oncology at a hospital who had reported his concern on EMF. I called him after the interview, to find out how he talked to parents about radiation therapy when the only choices were radiation therapy or a death sentence for a child.I had seen someone quote him as saying how toxic EMF was and I knew he was an oncologist. This remarkable man conversed with me in email and talked about the role he served as a physician and the privilege it was to educate parents on what they need to know to make decisions.At this time, I can acknowledge the American Post Modern Environmental Movement that I am often so at odds with for their dedication on improving the accuracy of reports and information to the public. This much I can do.
Yet, with the recent reports from Copenhagen 15 and Davos, I continue to see so many say we need a new role for government and corporations are not dealing with climate change let alone what I report on that is medically related and so important to improving health around the world.I am still asking my same question how can corporations, government officials and representatives of the non profit voice work together and form incubation centers of innovation that have a much great impact in a shorter span of time than has passed since 1981 when Louis Slesin began Microwave News.I offer my hub or learning and links internationally to any investors who want to fund innovative solutions to the growing use of wireless technologies for communication and health care and all that is associated with this.
If the press has showed us anything at the present time in the world of environment and health, the old system described by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger of the The Breakthrough Institute, we need a new contract for to build change in response to environment and health destruction that is a social contract that assures financial security and the resources to achieve the innovations we need to respond to toxicities, e.g EMF from a much more rigorous discipline of strategy and action than most of our educational institutions are currently mentoring our next generation of workers.My hats are off to any politician and Hollywood icon that want to educate the public and we need more resources to support the education and activity of our new workforce with job creation to step up and respond.
It seems that is my personal mission and the path I am on. Even when I quit this mission I am guided by others to step up to the plate and invite others to join my network hub and weave their activity into our non-monetary incubator to create an industry and scientific responsive innovation to reduce the harm of EMF exposure.
Europe is once again ahead of the United States. Their Parliament chose to exercise precaution and rather than to author "laws of fear". The EU Parliament's recommended levels of toxicities that will push the manufacturers to innovate in the context of exercising precaution based on the recognition of conflicting science and significant amount of reporting.
In the US we need more progressive and precautionary exemplary action like this and less time spent on arguing how to change our government or operate from an environment of no trust accusing all companies guilty of greed before we give them the education on opportunity.
EMF for me is up close and personal. It took me 2 years to find out that pesticides and EMF were the ultimate cause of complicating my health and bringing me near to kidney and liver failure. I have since suffered numerous other setbacks due to EMF exposure from Cell and Cable Antenna located on the roof of the apartment building I lived in up to 2007 in Boston MA. I have not found it easy to be public about this and formed a practice in life of quietly taking care of myself even when an real estate management event forced me to move.
Within the next few weeks, I am going to produce an entry on the opportunity of moving from a Culture of Law of Fear to a Culture of Legislative Possibility that I believe can create a tipping point of sustainability.
Please join my readership if this is something you value in your life or invite me to help you on projects you care about. Just write me at Linkedin.com and invite me to be a contact through coregroup ampersand workecology.com.
Posted at 04:46 PM in AboutWorkEcology, Brundtland Commission, Ecological Footprint for Health, Economy, EMF & Microwave Health Risks, Health, Health Technology, Healthy Community, WECare | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Brundtland Commission, Cell Phones, Cop-15, Davos, Devra Davis, Exercising Precaution, Gro Brundtland Harlem, Karolinska Institute, Mayor Newsom, Microwave News, non-ionizing radiation, Oprah, Radiation Research Trust, Sustainability
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims." - Buckminster Fuller
Happy New Year....
This past month, I created a learning adventure for myself.
I consciously chose to spend less time writing and researching to get out with some of my new ideas on the new format of education to build a culture of sustainable change:
The month was filled with genuine fun and resulted in a synthesis of some idea in the form of a strategic action plan to make launch the new WorkEcology.com portal….
So I decided to hold that thought as a curiosity and learn with it.
One of conclusions I reached came from recognizing that the word sustainability is an adjective. This is why it the word sustainability confuses people. You cannot find value in an adjective without rolling up your sleeves with other people to define and learn from practicing this value in action.
The current state of the economy combined with the anxiety many have or comfort some have from the same old routines was something I needed to break from so I can discriminate who my allies are and who are the people I want to work with and hang out with. I don't want to be stuck in the mode of "more of the same." To move beyond this requires a system of energy for me and anyone that grows out of a group of people and community you trust.
WorkEcology is about building that community in practice in response to the new kind of risk many are acknowledging where we are no longer building a future, but responding to forms of disaster that are challenging individuals that grew out of harmful institutional practices and the perpetuating behavior of using money to make money.
I also made it a priority to to remove myself from the ocean of fame that so many activities are draped in that are cloaked from the posture of self-flagellation promotion and advertising. By late November ,the people I mixed with were not famous consultants, educators or C_level directors in the Fortune 2000. Most people were not very Hollywood. A majority of people were hard working, life long learner working hard to organize a new format for education to create a culture of change.
Most of the people I chat with focus on their trade with out making it a priority to build fame or look for a quick get rich scheme. Within this community I have been working hard to form there is a conscious level of intelligence at play built on curiosity and awe and a low degree of arrogance in practice.
I have created a new practice of building community for myself that took some quiet hard personal work. The people who stick actively in my conversation space are life long learners who include inquiry as part of what they do every day in a more ordinary way to earn a living or be part of their local community that sometimes includes family.
The groups of of people draw from people of all ages and backgrounds, that comprised Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y. There was no gap by age in how people listened to each other and heard what was said, which is often the complaint in gatherings that draw people of all ages. The listening I witnessed between people was remarkable and not something I ordinarily witness in social media forums of discussions that are grounded in blame, what is wrong and what can we fix.I opened conversations with many of these people about my interest to devise a new web based community and journalism format for education that builds a culture of sustainable change.
While December reports in the media were focused on the disappointing outcome of Copenhagen and the ongoing public debate that surrounds health care reform until the final day of the vote. I was less inclined to read more of the same and chose to follow that which sparked my heart. I have concluded our government processes are so slow and behind the times, no real change is going to occur from the political sector. And in most instances, I find the political reports disruptive and rob me of my energy.
I then began to check in with people I read or read about that inspire me. First, I caught
up on with Esther Dyson's
current thinking through a thought leader interview by Art Kleiner @ Strategy and Business Magazine on line. Kleiner’s profile of Dyson (before her trip to outer space) captured a outstanding bandwidth of everything Esther’s thinks about. Esther’s view of the new non-monetary emerging markets located on the Internet captured my attention.
Non-monetary markets according to Dyson, create change and give people the power to express what they are thinking. This fits with my own thinking about how a powerful market can call into demand a new format of education that can only be learned in community and cross institutional boundaries. This marketplace captures an opinion more powerful than voting and how we view the role of government. It is a market place based on education and giving voice. This really fits with how I observing the emergence of a new format for education and how this new format can influence a culture of sustainable change that takes hold more rapidly than anything we have ever expected from government, policy and legislative activities.
Through Ode Magazine I got up to date with another thought leader in a class of his own is
James Lovelock, former NASA scientist and creator of the Gaia Hypothesis in the 60’s, has a new book out called, The
Vanishing Face of Gaia.
is planning to join Sir Richard Branson on a space flight. That to me is far more inspiring and represents the energy of a life long learner and what I gain from knowing people who do not stop learning. Maybe it is time for me to get the support for a space flight of my own!
December brought low scores in the media for Obama’s participation in Copenhagen 15. I was also sorting out for myself the performance of the Obama Administration to date. I have begun to notice a trend and pattern in presidential posture regarding employment, environment and health that is moving from denial to recognition.
I realized when the Health Care Reform Bill was passed; it pretty much reflected what Hillary Clinton and Ira Magazine had fought for in the 90's or what Clinton had campaigned for. But the bill did not address the harsh economic reality that for most people when ill, health insurance does not assure them the coverage they need to heal or die with some comfort, so the bill does not reduce risk of bankruptcy for people who cannot support themselves when they become ill.
To some the passing of this bill was a major milestone. In my mind it ended the conversation that began with Theodore Roosevelt's administration that stopped 80 years of argument, debate and inaction. For many I know, including me, this bill did not enact a response to impact real change in my opinion that is responsive to today. So many of us just respond to it with a politically correct response, "it is a beginning."
In contrast, my read on Esther Dyson's view of the need for a non-monetary market and how it can spark innovation aligned with my own own thinking on how non monetary can innovate change in health and education. Non monetary markets can drive learning to discover new innovations which people cannot see just going about the day mechanically living within the infrastructures of systems that are not working.
Nothing in my experience has shown me that any professional investor will do anything other than focus on short-term gain and how often economic decision makers stop a learning community dead in its tracks from doing what they do well on the road to discovering innovation that is practical and has a market waiting to adopt the innovation.
Karl Henrik Robert,
a scientist from Sweden based launched the movement of innovation that revealed the need to examine the implications of environmental harm on the earth and health. In the early 1990's, Robert was funded by 200 corporations with the intent to open a new pathway of learning that I believe was the tipping point for sparking the movement of people forming the sustainable economy. Social Entrepreneur, Paul Hawken
brought the discovery of Robert's work to the US then described as The Natural Step, it was immediately reshaped into an entrepreneurial learning venture, where bright stars in Hawken's network learned as they earned.
The learning from this network shaped into hidden
conversations in small professional society meetings and small projects within
large corporations. The projects themselves were driven by unreasonable individual heroes and heroines.
These projects operated as like high risk fire walks of uncertainty and addiction. From where I sat, I watched projects that came to my atention turn into causal marketing non profit campaigns without a quality invitation to everyday people to take quality briefings and put it to work. Don't get me wrong, there is value learned from the early stages of these projects that heroic leaders described at gatherings of life minded people. But in the end after these presentations at pricey conferences, I found most participants returned home with new knowledge and could not see clearly how to launch or resource a similar initiative.
The speaking circuit grew into Hollywood like forum and created the Who's Who of Sustainability. Comments, reputation and people who authored with frequency, the bits and bytes that travel through mobile phones onto Twitter and Facebook do they really impact the change we need?
I view sustainability as a movement morphing out of two decades of Corporate Social Responsibility that is now referenced as Sustainability. Corporate Social Responsibility and CSR investing were based on monetary markets. I now see Sustainability is pushing us to embrace non monetary markets and this can be why there is so much confusion on how we define sustainability.
In society today, we use the word sustainability as a noun. A noun implies definition. Sustainability to me is a value (hence an adjective) that requires that people work to quantify what it means relevant to the activity they are concerned with. This is why I describe WorkEcology as a practice rather than using it for a company name. Now I see WorkEcology as the practice of defining Sustainability, an adjective requiring a group of people to work to define its value in the context of the community or groups in which people chose to grapple with and apply this thought leadership into practice.
By Mid - December I had to simply ignore my interest to do a monthly blog post and just decide I was in a reflective winter mode of reflection and gaining some good learning to add more power to my work in 2010.
Mid-month, I spent a delightful 3 days in Brattleboro, Vermont visiting and observing an intensive program for students attending Marlboro College's MBA Program in Managing for Sustainability. This fueled me more to think about how I want to organize the new WorkEcology.com Portal and dedicate it to becoming a premier resource of education for a a sustainable culture of change.
At Marlboro College Graduate Center,
I spent delightful time talking with like mind people – students, faculty, visitors, advisers to the program, I was deeply immersed in an educational experience reflecting the quality and rigor of how I believe education should be for everyone. By the end of the weekend, I had in mind a role I wanted to play as a midwife fostering a new educational format that can lead to workforce redesign that has been needed for a very long time now back to the late 1970’s when downsizing and recession strategies stifled innovators of change.
There was little or no impact on local and global economies for people who rely on jobs that are organized out of a traditional full employment model that emerged post the Depression. Entire communities and workforce plans grew out of the idea that a company would provide a life long job that would support a person while working and retired and “Levittown”like communities were built across the country tied to the companies that provided jobs.
The idea of WorkEcology.com Portal grew out of a concept of providing infrastructure to portfolio workers who build their reputation on the web and in person by building trusted relationships. My vision for the portal was to provide an infrastructure for these knowledge workers to manage their income, health, and professional development.
It was a concept I conceived after Robert Reich made his parting speech to Congress after resigning as Labor Secretary in the late 90's and predicted the state of chaos we are now in with a serious shortage of jobs, people aging with no retirement and a health care system that would not assure coverage of all US Citizens.However in practice this concept relied on one thing that people would find work by learning and performing competently.
While visiting the Marlboro College Intensive, I drew from the student participation the idea that this portal could capture case studies and reports on projects from people as they were learning in programs programs like Marlboro MBA in Managing for Sustainability.
Part of the
degree requirement for this program is that all students participate in a Capstone
Project to graduate. Capstone Education is growing in popularity through at many universities because it
gives students the opportunity to apply the theory they learn in school in
practice to actual real time projects. The Capstone Education format is not new. I was a Capstone student years ago at Boston University. What is new is the number of schools offering this type of program and the rigor of learning and application this education format provides in school - at work or in community.
I found the classmates of the Marlboro MBA in Managing for Sustainability Program to be mature professionals entering their mid career phase. All people I met and talked to selected to attend this program with a keen interest to learn how to apply the competencies and skills that build sustainability in culture through their jobs or ventures in industry and non profits or as entrepreneurs. It feels a bit off to describe these people as students, since the conversations with these mature adults was more like talking to people vested in life as life long learners seeking to shape their professional development to make a difference to the environment and health.The conversations I had with the community members at Marlboro College were all based on a sincere interest to be responsive to global warming, health and the environment and to learn how to do that with others.
I found this value in practice motivated me to want to learn with this mix of people drawn from Generation X and Y and found the opening and sense of community sparked disappeared what so many describe as the “generation gap.” What disappeared this gap was the alignment and sincerity toward the kind of work people wanted to do and therefore inspired alignment and respectful conversation key to generation applied learning.
The Birth of a New Educational Driven Journalism.
was exceptionally generous with his time for private chats during my time at the Marlboro College Intensive. I was periodically met with Ralph during the Intensive to share my reflection and begin to synthesize an action plan. I eased into my first reflection easily because the organization of the residential weekend validated my findings from action research on leading change successfully. There is a content plan that includes partnerships with a number of leaders in the new media, e.g. Rosalinda Sanquiche, Devin Stewart and Bill Baue. The partnerships are not anything complicated. I have always wanted to provide an archive and synthesis of the wonderful content these New Media Leaders provide. While in Brattleboro, I saw an opportunity even more powerful than publishing case studies and reports from the thought leaders with a following.
My interest from the start of my consulting career
has been to report on small projects that meet a success criteria that
goes beyond ROI. As I watched a few student teams provide reports on
their action research and study tied to forming a strategic human resource
activity to create brand and forge out a plan for growth for a new start-up, I
realized what I wanted was to become a center of reporting on actual projects
carried out by these students and mentored by this fabulous faculty that are
described as Capstone Projects
The students and faculty tied to the Marlboro program have already been creating a new form of educationally driven journalism through Bill Baue's direction as Faculty and Founder of Sea Change Media. This student driven journalism captures the “candid story” of the learning and change that happens on the Geo Political Scene of Climate Change, Environment and Health. This journalism format is designed to work on the architecture of Web 2.0 and grows out of live experiences and participation in forums of people building the new metrics of accountability for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Bill Baue with Devin Stewart from the Carnegie Institute produced a A Web 2.0 at Carnegie Institute reporting the progress of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard-Kennedy School examining the intersection of Web 2.0 and corporate social responsibility/accountability with a joint researchers Marcy Murninghan and Bob Massie. This report is an update of how companies are responding to this kind of reporting on the web rather than reacting. I believe this activity is going to set a tipping point for industry and non profits.
The geopolitical space at the present time is complicated and capturing and constructing accurate reporting is challenging.
Recent events show us even political leaders engaged in debate and argument on a global, national and local scale are finally recognizing the issues of harm ahead for us, they are still learning to respond. To me this indicates that ordinary citizens need to develop a new set of skills while reviewing the media that educates them to learn how to filter through reports of conflict to use as educations resources to find solutions to the impact of harm and prevention.
Based on what I see in the 40+ year history dating back to when Climate Change and Health Care Reform these events of this past month do signify a form of change that can simply be described as RECOGNITION without CLEAR ACTION.
For Climate Change the proposals are too tame to assure the impact scientists say we need to prevent Global Warming and for Health Care Reform, there is no plan of action to address the root causes of a system that is bankrupting people and continuing to cause harm to many who cannot get the right kind of care to prevent chronic illness or to treat chronic illness to assure a person does not become disabled to the point they cannot work.
a journalist for the UK’s Guardian stated December 14, 2009 a view that the Copenhagen story is showing a lack of understanding of the limits we have as human beings. Monbiot writes,
“The meeting at Copenhagen confronts us with our primal tragedy. We are the universal ape, equipped with the ingenuity and aggression to bring down prey much larger than itself, break into new lands, roar its defiance of natural constraints. Now we find ourselves hedged in by the consequences of our nature, living meekly on this crowded planet for fear of provoking or damaging others. We have the hearts of lions and live the lives of clerks.”
From the point of view of disasters, I do not yet see a leadership formation that is inviting a culture of candor that goes beyond spiritual values of compassion, acceptance and kindness or political and tactical responses of denial, protest and debate to build within groups of people the challenge to addressing difficult problems at work, in local community and of national and global scale.
Authoring treaties, passing legislation is the role of the geopolitical process. Yet the person on your left and your right are your neighbors you live along side with and work with and in order to exist we are now moving into a culture of candor that is calling groups of people employed in institutions or communities of people drawn from sectors of engagement that cross the interests of citizen groups, government agencies and commercial interests.
A new form of journalism is appearing in media today that is a resource for people coming together in congregations of intention to build solutions or build timely responses to harm. This past month within my own personal trajectory this new format of media provided timely and vital reports to educate people to the leadership challenge, the scientific factors that have to be considered in order to build change responsive plan. It was far more inspiring to me than the buzz and reports on the political process and the thoughts or non response from key political leaders.
The reports I read from the press I learn with led me to read with an eye to feed my own inquiry inspired by the Buckminster Fuller quote at the header of this blog post - What would it mean if we lived like the future is now?
In fact, is Esther Dyson's observation of a need for non monetary driven business models that drive innovation into practice and Lovelock's idea that we need to prepare to live in an age of disaster and population reduction asking us to live now as if the future is here?
Cimbria Badenhausen is the Climate
Correspondent for Sea Change Media . During the Copenhagen 15 meeting she provided live coverage Cimbria's live coverage captured my attention.
Cimbria provided an education based on actual events and concrete descriptions describing scientifically why the portions of meeting went behind closed doors or provided facts on how carbon emission standards proposed were different for rich versus poor countries. Cimbria pointed out where the protest opened as attendees and witnesses protested the fact that the draft treaty was written outside of the standards originally set for the United Nations Framework Conventions for Climate Change. Take the time to educate yourself by reading Cimbria's post, "Hell Breaks Loose at COP 15." If you read Cimbria's report closely you can see that this protest did not reflect an attack on negative action; the protest was organized to support a submission of an ambitious legal treaty now.
On December 22, Bill Baue
points out in his CSRWire Editorial: Assessing Obama's First Year through a CSR Lens, providing a headline taken from
Saturday Night LIve,
"When you look at my record, it's very clear what I've done so far and that's - nothing, nada... Global Warming: Not Done... Limits on Executive Power: Not Done... Improve Afghanistan: Worse." Bill went on this excellent editorial to report accurately where there was hope and where there were actions and the hope framed from who was appointed to work for Obama and the disappointments in action from both the good appointees and the bad.
By Christmas Eve, Health Care Reform got its vote from the Senate and Health Care Reform was passed in an environment of dispute where many cannot ignore the issues of the abuses of health insurance, lowering the cost of health care and expanding coverage. Adam Nagourney's analysis in the New York Times of the "spat between Howard Dean and Obama" describes the current divide within Democratic Party that has not resolved.
Abroad and at home in the US, the media coverage is accurately reporting on the flaws and slow responding political systems we count on to address a challenging future faced by ordinary citizens of any country that challenge a growing majority of people who want to work wisely to live well to sustain.
While I was following all this in the press, I became more aware local to me and where I hung out if you looked to your left and looked to your right or even just looked out for yourself, the old formulas of the past cease to operate and assure anyone the ability to sustain.
The challenge we have seen to assure a future is bringing a challenge to our door in the here and now. The future is here and it is not about saving the future, it is about creating a response to the present turmoil of increasing bankruptcies experienced by people who become ill, recognizing now that more than 50% of adults in the United States are chronically ill.
Where I now sit regarding a new educational format that empowers a sustainable culture of change?
I have believed for some time the method by which we create change in the work place with consultants and educational programs is very out of date. Presenting new skills and working with people to apply what they learn in a residential program, retreat or class room is not sufficient for embarking on change.
Over the last six months numerous MBA grads have contacted me in a mentoring capacity. e.g. Louise Ling,
MBA 2009, Hult School of International Business, Whit Tice,
MBA 2009, Case Western. My time spent the Marlboro Cohorts helped me synthesize the experiences that Louise and Whit shared with me into a summary of challenge I see for the new emotionally intelligent graduate of any program.
These graduates often have a portfolio of skill with a scientific basis and have sought leadership training through advanced studies and immersed themselves in creating practices using social media and other forms of technology. The hiring managers and economic decision makers they network with or interview with often do not have a clue on how these young leaders can take their educational background, scientific experience and apply it to the strategy and work of the organizations they interview with.
I discussed my observations and concerns that I wanted to reflect on with Ralph Meima at the end of the Marlboro Residential Program in the context of how that program is structured and attended by members of the learning cohorts for this community. I also have to say that my brief conversations with Whit Tice and following his story while knowing his hopes and dreams for attending the Case Western program mid career have also influenced my thinking. Here is a summary of my hypothesis based on these experiences and conversations:
1. Learning is lifelong. People with a variety of emotional background and experience now return to school with the intent to learn new skills that can make a difference. These adult learners utilize the time in school to develop leadership capacity that puts to work their technical, scientific and financial and marketing/communication skills in a way to lead change.
2. The investment in this type of education is significant and the pay back methodology is not clear in an economy where jobs are reducing in large numbers. Deciding to seek a rigorous form of education is a major decision. For many it is part of a career transition and school means increasing debt and modifying expenditures that sometimes impacts a family of young children.
3. Often the employers, investors, and mentors for these students who are not their faculty have no training and education on how to help these students apply their class room learning to a project or on the job.
4. For any graduate student fulfilling a Capstone Education Requirement there is no guarantee that the live laboratory for this project can absorb, benefit and cooperate with the student to assure a successful learning experience that this student can describe within his portfolio of accomplishment.5. The goal of a Capstone project is to lead innovation and real innovation often happens through informal networks of creativity within a community or market; it is critical that a Capstone Lab Site be committed to innovation as part of that organization's culture, which means the students have to be able to engage with informal and formal networks involved in their projects.
Zia Kahn and Jon Katzenbach, speak in more detail about the culture ofinnovation in their recently published article , Are You Killing Ideas? featured @Strategy+Business on Facebook. Kahn and Katzenbach outline in detail the factors that need to be investigated within a culture that take into account the formal and informal infrastructure for adopting change. This must read article points to critical issues that are not taken into account when a company or non profit funds a leader to attend an educational program, conference or learning event and why 85% of people engaged in new learning settings find they don't have the understanding or resources to apply new learning on the job.
Whit Tice has reformed his blog, The Latest and Greatest from Whit, as an overview of what management behavior methodologies are important to factor into leading innovation and change in an organization culture that include
1. Quality examination of accelerating strategies;
2. Descriptions of a key methodology called Appreciative Inquiry that brings people from disparate parts of an organization to build new accelerated strategies;
3. The benefits of scenario planning and a very systemic review of how this practice can bring people into an educational forum of examination that gives them the technical and scientific basis to work with others on a change initiative for environment or health;
4. The role of social media, e.g. Facebook or Twitter in building an educational forum that builds a culture of change. Each entry authored by Whit is a mix drawing from his own personal experience with each competence, a complete description beyond theory to assure the reader can imagine the application of this methodology on the job.
5. Whit is now working on a blog entry on Whole Systems. Whole Systems , is a form of thinking critical to any organization that is preparing to respond to the next decade of natural disasters that will disrupt economy, trade and commerce.
For the adult learner, how are we going to assure that this person who invests in this commitment will be employed?
The decision to work and live in a culture of sustainability is not something to take lightly because it requires engagement with others who are like minded and intentioned to act on the value for sustainability.
WorkEcology.com is going to become a unique portal launched this year, which will serve as a meeting place for a new form of membership that will operate somewhat like a the idea of European Trade Associations.
The WorkEcology portal, in it current design, is organized to attract a community of individuals united to work with the methods, the theory in practice by staying current with the science, events shaping change and linking in with companies, associations and non profits comprising the monetary and non-monetary marketplace that is growing more tangibly by day growing into a world based on an attitude of what is working now and what can be working better to assure a future for next generations.
By February, there will be a blog announcement and through other venues, e.g. Twitter, Linkedin.com and Facebook of how the first introductory formation of membership will be formed through a couple of projects
1. I will launch teleconference community on Linkedin.com the end of January. This community will be dedicated to examining the Culture of Candor and all that implies. The group will be membership driven and needs of individual group members will be factored into how the group is convened and organized. The communication system for this sub-community will provide you brief updates of news and knowledge that is filtered for a community of leaders who want to learn new methods of leading that inspire taking risk and innovating change. For more information simply write firstname.lastname@example.org. Put in the subject line (Culture of Candor).
2. With Bernie Kelly, our Australian Partner for the Kennedy Reeve Global Health Leadership Institute, I will be launching a health professional leadership research project in February designed to qualify and identify a group of health care professionals that will convene to learn how to form a global culture of change for the health professions.
3. I will continue with numerous behind the scenes conversations with my advisers and people stepping up to the plate to raise a form of investment that will serve WorkEcology to focus on its mission.
4. I am now on organizing committees for a series of events that will tackle challenging issues related to the economy, learning and Brilliant Minds, Sweet Hearts' business model is forming into non-monetary market of innovation.
The model will focus on creating a new social market niche of talent and organizations ready to integrate that talent into innovative projects based on the value for sustainability. While currency may be exchanged it will not be with a focus on profit. In my view the role of a non-monetary market venture will be to influence tangible and intangible value in other non-monetary and monetary markets.
Our intention is to focus on serving our members to learn, convene and build an association of people building a new workforce framework so people can work wisely and live well.Stay tuned. This is new, it's an innovation and we are working as fast as we can. We welcome help and if you are interested, please link in with me at my Linkedin.com profile and contact me there.
This month, I am focused on finalizing an advice network that will oversee how our investment is raised and used. We have received our first letter from an investor of intent and I will be working with my advice network to determine how to structure the investment to recognize my many years of personal investment to launch WorkEcology.
November 11, 2009, Veterans Day.... I am sitting in Peets Coffee in Lexington, MA - home of of the American Revolution. The local town parade to remember Veterans' just finished and the coffee hub is now filled up with people getting cozy and hanging out to sip their coffee while taking time out to connect with friends.
This morning I am having a growing sense of contentment because I am experiencing more conversations within the WorkEcology Community of Practice as forming into actual activities of applied learning. The colleagues in this community that I most respect, are filtering into practice the thought leadership that has woven into WorkEcology. They are weaving our thinking into an incubator of action that will fulfill my vision to lead change for health, environment and economic sustainability.
I began my morning with a brief phone call with Geoff Teed, Founding partner and President of Paradigm Physician Partners, LLC. Geoff first contacted me through his reading of my entries on the Hospital Impact Blog. He then read the current site for WorkEcology cover to cover and contacted Jeffrey Pfeffer, Karen Stephenson, Nick Jacobs, who all referred Geoff to me. This morning, Geoff called to tell me he is reading Kleiner's - Age of Heretic and got to thinking about why are these kind of projects so difficult to get of the ground and why so many fail.
As Geoff and his colleagues get closer to closing on the purchase of hospitals in Connecticut and New Jersey, he continues to think about what has to be done to influence change in these hospitals. While reading the Age of Heretic, Geoff began to think about,
"Why do most innovative projects sometimes begun by Heretics fail?" I did not have the time to really answer this question or explore it in conversation of more depth. To have a conversation like this I have to create an environment where I can create a container for a dialogue learning to foster a culture of change.
Geoff like most hospital executives is buried with a ground swell of information and stories of what people do and what that means, I could not even begin to answer his question about why most innovative projects fail? The kind of questions he is asking requires days, months, and years of Appreciative Inquiry, Scenario Planning and Briefings.
I would have also framed his question to build inquir this way, " Why do most heretics fail to build a environment of consensus in learning so that change does not come from top down?"
In my experience, the answers to questions like these have to grow out of a group of people who select to build a culture of .
through a deliberate design and pattern of events and education to spark a culture of change.
Heretic that succeed fit a profile in Chapter 1 of Art Kleiner's book. Art describes heretics as people who
They aim for quality of work, and money will follow."
This implies thought and action and the building of collaboration that most top down institutions and economic decisions makers do not know how to factor into performance while leading a culture of change that grows from a value for shared learning.
Through out my career, I have moved through years of working with leaders in a trusted social network alternated with working in organizations where a social network lost the most important leg needed in any learning organization. This leg is the leg of economic responsibility where the Core Group of economic decisions makers organizes its financial system to support learning to assure that assets of knowledge are built within the organization that sustain a culture of trust and profit.
I have to admit right now in terms of hospital management in the US, I am puzzled to read posts in blogs that report increased hospital profit like this post in Fierce IT, Hospital Profits Shoot Upward between Q3 2008 and Q2 2009. This report summarizes a study by Thomson Reuters of 400 hospitals during a time of economic collapse in the United States in an industry where trust is on the decline.
When I completed reading this post, I asked myself, "How and when will US hospitals invest in innovation and learning that responds to the challenges of today? Or will the hospital industry continue to manage for growing profits and continue to lose the trust of the market/consumer/patient and feed the growing health care crisis in America?
The current WorkEcology website, developed in 2003, sparked the formation of a personal network of close associates from around the world where I have been weaving this culture of learning and trust. It is possible the greatest trust has grown between me and people I have the least contact with because they read all I write and when we take the time to converse, every conversation grows into a conversation that matters and weaves another step of learning and application that is building WorkEcology as an applied learning community. A variety of projects that I have begun in the last 5 years are now growing into sturdy activities with prospects of funding.
The new WorkEcology portal is 70% built. I am currently engaged in raising $30-50K of investment to launch this portal to full capacity and create a design for the initial member driven projects which will be organized on private subscribed blog infrastructure tied to learning communities that are taking form in Australia, Scotland and Scandanavia.
I hope we can break ground in the United States by early 2010. I continue to talk to leaders in my network, who continue to report to me obstacles and barriers to launching projects of innovation in networks where decisions makers are holding on to cash and profit tightly and not investing, e.g. hospitals and bio-pharm.
Maybe the pain in the US Economy has not yet achieved the level of pain needed to open the door to change. I would like to believe this is not true.
In recent weeks, I have much to celebrate with active members of this community of practice and the conversation we have synthesized.
1. Russ Volckmann, a former health care practice leader specializing in OD at Kaiser Permanente, appeared at my Linkedin.com Dashboard. The bits and bytes we speak today grew out of a leadership inquiry group I organized in Silicon Valley between 1992-93 which inspired my learning. Russ is now the publisher and founder of Integral Leadership Review and has accepted my first reflection, The Audubon Reflection on culture of change a new educational format. It will appear as a "note from the field in the IRL issue for January 2010.
2. Work with the Advisory Board for the IGI Global Medical Text Book, User Driven Health and Narrative Medicine has progressed very positively. This group is led by Dr. Rakesh Biswas.
Last week, I authored a letter to members of the advisory board and others in the WorkEcology community of practice. This is a modified version of that letter:
Dear Rakesh, et al,
(members of the IGI Medical Text Book Advisory Board).
Gary Flomenhoft, who informally advises me from University of Vermont, Gund Institute and gave me the council from which to write the Open Letter to Hazel Henderson, has suggested I look to this community, Foot Print Network launched by Yoshi Wada in Japan as a way to benchmark and measure the power an ecological footprint for WorkEcology.
This system of thought could be powerful for integrating into thought leadership for our text book IGI Global Text Book on Narrative Medicine . If you look at the list of distinguished scholars on the Footprint Network Advisory Council
for this network, it should be clear at the talent of thought that includes Karl-Henrik Robert who is a physician in Internal Medicine associated with the Karolinska Institute and founder of Sweden's Natural Step;.
Many others on this board are advisors and remarkable researchers and thought leadership within Hazel Henderson's network that supports the thought leadership of EthicalMarkets.com.
All this network is strongly tied to the Earth Charter authors who developed this charter in the context of the the Precautionary Principle.
I believe that access as defined at this time related to 3rd world countries, e.g. India is starting to have similar parallels in the Western World, at least in the United State. In my dialogue with Priyank Jain, M.D., we discussed that as part of the patient story re: access, many people in India and US have the same dilemma of losing control to seek the health they want blind to not knowing how the expense of their care will either push them to poverty or push them to appear negligent because they do not have the financial resources to support their care.
This is very key to my view of the necessity of the WECare Health Metric focus for research and why I want to launch a professional association of ecologist drawn from many professions to define health beyond health care. I believe the Narrative Medicine Text book can be a beginning to launch some hints as to this system of thought. I am having valuable learning from my investigation with the health scenarios I have summarized for the chapter of the book that I am writing.
These scenario's have interesting implications for the development and structure of the WorkEcology Portal and WorkEcology Notebook for Personal Sustainability (on line) and how we link to our channels for the new economy, e.g. EthicalMarkest.com, etc. as portrayed on this mock up home page.
This also has remarkable implications for the members of Eileen O'Connor's network through the Radiation Research Trust. I believe launching our professional association and drawing people to the association outside the practice of medicine skilled in defining an ecological economic footprint is as critical as creating this association for clinicians practicing medicine.
I am going to present this concept within my proposal to present at the 2010 International Conference in Germany for International Society for Ecological Economics as an argument for this practice to be integrated in a format that creates a hub and intersection for health care, commercial industry (biopharm and manufacturing) and government.
Within hours, I got a response from Olle Johansson, M.D. of Karolinska Institute in Sweden, endorsing the timeliness of formulating an ethical foot print for health.
Rakesh Biswas, M.D.
from Bhopal, India followed Olle's remark with a decision to pull together an international book on the Health and Medicine's Ethical Footprint. I will as Senior Editor, begin conferring with our network when the Advisory Group has completed production of the current text book for IGI and we followup on grant and possible corporate sponsors to launch a new professional association to educate people in all health professions on creating a more Ecological Basis for Patient Centric Care.
4. From the field, in Scotland... Alec Fraher
reports that he is now working with the Scotland National Health Service to formulate a culture of change for that practice that measures new WeCareHealth Metrics. Lilly Evans
is preparing her thoughts on providing a program for the leaders of this community to unleash their creative energy, while Alec continues to synthesize the practice of today and build conditions for scenario planning.
In Sydney, Australia....Bernie Kelly
is formulating a new strategy and educational forum with Andrew Stewart, of Intelog Health Care Performance Group.
The momentum continues to build...Stay tuned.
Cheers,Lavinia Gene Weissman
Founder, WorkEcology Community of Practice
CEO, Brilliant Minds, Sweet Hearts
Posted at 07:00 PM in Books, Culture of Change, Ecological Economics, Ecological Footprint for Health, Economy, Health, Integral Leadership Review, Precautionary Principle, The Kennedy Reeve Leadership Institute for WeCareHealth, Trust, WECare, WECareMetricsofHealth Newsnotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: AboutWorkEcology, Core Groups, Culture of Change, Ecological Economics, Ecological Footprint, EthicalMarkets.com, Fierce IT, Gund Institute, Hospital and Profits, IGI Global, Integral Leadership Review, Intelog Health Care performacne Group., Karolinska Institute, Narrative Medicine, Social Network Analysis, Trust, WorkEcology
This past month I received invitations from a number of colleagues I respect including Bill Baue, Olle Johansson, Eileen O'Connor, Art Kleiner and Ralph Meima. These invitations were to events of learning that explore inquiries into aspects of what I believe is forming a new WorkEcology.
The "idea" of WorkEcology relies on an expectation that in all aspects of life we are embracing a need to explore a culture of change and not simply focused on personal change and personal growth. A "culture of change" implies that we are convening communities of practice into sustainable learning forums where groups of people come together to learn and apply that learning to lead change.
I reviewed each invitations as it arrived and attended one event. I reflected on each activity in the context of my research and current learning trajectory to discover and define a new forum of learning that integrates the practice of evidence based medicine and the evolution of the chaos of research relative to the environment and health, where you always find conflicting research. This adventure is turning me into an Agatha Christie of Sustainability because of my passion to learn how to apply the Precautionary Principle in action. This very personal "up close and personal" research has been a challenging learning journey, driven both by my life experience and the need I perceived to learn how to filter of the "Earth Charter's Principle of Exercising Precaution," into how we make decisions n any aspect of life.
My personal view grew out of my study of European environment and health legislation because I saw it so timely to the change that is now emerging in today's economy and personally motivated to make meaning of my own health experience and the effect of environmental toxins and non-ionizing radiation, sometimes described as EMF on my own health.
I have finally filtered from my personal experience a way to talk about this experience and what I learned rather than work my energy so hard that I hide my experience for fear people will view me a victim or misunderstand my experience and episodes of illness. Now there is ample scientific report and research to quantify my experience which I will describe in part within a new medical text book that I am contributing to on the practice of narrative medicine and utilization of technology and social media.
This experience ran in parallel with my value for the idea of "doing no harm" and building decisions and approaches to living and working that are sustainable and make it possible for the next generation to live well. I realized what is unique to how I think truly grows from my vision to participate and work with people who recognize and translate a need to address future generations in how we approach work, live and sustain ourselves, our health and the health of the environment. This perspective for me grew out of years of research on the implications of downsizing and layoffs and the issues related to a multi-generational workforce.
This economic ecological view of environment and health was basic to my decision to launch WorkEcology website as a community of practice after a conversation with Art Kleiner in 2003. . My friend Whit Tice
has taken this thought leadership a step forward with the discussion he launched this month titled The Latest and Greatest from Whit. Whit is filtering what I describe as principles of an ecological workforce through his view of the multi-generational workforce and the implications of reduction of available jobs. Whit's blog is a gathering place for anyone who wants to learn about the elements of becoming a portfolio worker and participate in the thought leadership that I tech in my course called Foundations of CoreGroup Theory and Practice.
Mid-September, I attended a meeting convened by the Audubon Society in Greenwich, CT and Audubon Magazine. The meeting was funded by Shell Oil - Houston and facilitated by Bill Baue.
The topic Future Scenarios: Energy and Economy.
The format for the meeting put all participants at ease no matter there form of participation --- learners, contributors and presenters. No one knew too little or knew too much. While the topic invited an exchange of intellect that could be very overpowering and heady, each presenter and participant was brought into a pace of learning that was comfortable and assured a pace where all could participate. In my experience, this atmosphere of learning is not easily where the topic is related to the environment of climate change. Kudos to Bill Baue and all present.
All the people in attendance had a clear intention to learn no matter what they could teach or contribute to the dialogue. No one was there just to hang out. The learning environment constructed reflected Audubon's mission, to convene conversations that empower a culture of change. By November, I will post an article that summarizes what was presented and explored at this meeting in detail.
By the end of September, I was able to find a way to focus of my work with a renewed energy that I used to prioritize my time and select where I dedicated my time to conversations, work with others and research.
While the time spent learning about potential grant applications, did not result in finding a grant, this "not so trivial pursuit" resulted in and produced remarkable value. It resulted in my give more concrete definition to the mission, purpose and activity for WorkEcology. This thinking is driving my writing to a level of clarity that is contributing great value to anything I write now
Core to my thinking that grew out of my time spent in Greenwich, CT, I was able to more explicitly describe my niche and audience for my work. This niche resides with the people who wish to learn and apply the Precautionary Principle in all aspects of the economy to lead change through formation of "living networks" (not institutions).
The day I concluded this, I receive an email from Art Kleiner
announcing that he will be an emcee at New York: The World Emerging Multi-National Corporations Congress on November 2 and 3.
In Art's words, he describes this event as
"the first conference of its kind - designed to tackle the challenges posed by the rapid growth of EMNCs, and forge partnerships with businesses from across the globe.I don’t think any shift in business today has as many consequences and ramifications, and I look forward to learning a great deal."
Here now is October's update on WorkEcology and WeCareHealth:
The Nau Grant application became a valuable lesson learned. Mid way in the campaign it became clear that this grant activity was not right for WorkEcology and at the same time it pushed me to lead and synthesize a system of thought so I can begin to continually apply for grants.
After I initially produced the Nau Nomination Collective Story with Rosalinda Sanquiche, EthicalMarkets.com,
I gave my attention to two other grant applications. I learned something new during this review about grants; grants are determined based on whether or not you have carried out this project successfully in the past and grants are often awarded for aa repetition of a proven learning.
Given my respect and my learning experience with Buckminster Fuller, I decided to learn how to apply for the Buckminister Institute Challenge Award. From this website, I discovered a trend in grant awards that would require a time line of a year or more of preparation work before WorkEcology could make application. So I am carefully considering this for 2010.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award's purpose is to grant a new idea that is brought into practice and recognized. What is remarkable about this grant is the grant community actually contributes to building the BFI Idea Index of how new ideas come into fruition and links you to the people who have created these ideas through applied learning in a culture of change.
If you do not win the Challenge the story of your grant application is available at this site so others can consider getting involved with you or investing in your work. So it can return more to the applicant for the personal return on investment you make into your own idea.
From my view others have attempted something similar and not in such an empowering way. This method of granting encourages people to learn and bring about new ideas that have not produced social outcomes of this kind.
It is very different than the "institutional investor view," that Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric outlined to Hass Students, October 2008. In this lecture, Jeffrey described himself as a CEO investor with deep pockets to create networks of investment within GE and its supply chain to create change for energy and health. Given the reality of September 2009 and Wall Street, we all know now those deep pockets are rare and some of the most remarkable innovations grew out of no investment at all. I do not find the idea of no "investment" favorable personally because no idea grows without some kind of investment and my studies of micro-finance and enterprises and my own experience prove the opposite.
From all this self-generative learning, as the only person focused on WorkEcology and its development to make it real as a economic practice (embracing all aspects of the economy market place and beyond market), I concluded that I don't have time to muster and organize to become a non profit or recruit others to work with me in a format that assures they follow through me.
So this became an excellent learning leverage point that has helped me harvest the focus of activity that WorkEcology and I are now focused on.
WorkEcology Core Practice Value and Principle
As previously stated life for me got very simple thanks to attendance to the Audubon Educational Forum followed by a 2 1/2 hour walk and lunch with Ralph Miema, Project Director, Marlboro College Graduate School, MBA in Managing Sustainability.
My focus on Sustainability and the outgrowth of thought that grew over the past 40 years out of the Brundtland Commission convened by Harlem Gro Brundtland in 1983. I concluded in my conversation with Ralph that for me it is important that the design any conversation or project I am involved with assures future generations their existence and health. For me this is what matters to assure a quality of investigation, inquiry and education that serves to bring about healthy environment, health and economic outcomes.
With Ralph, I then explored the history of sustainability and education and began to hypothesize from the view of appreciative inquiry, what is working now and what can be working better, I was able to identify what is core to my own education, how I learn, teach and mentor now. This is the value for an education format called Capstone. Capstone education is a way to instill in students a method of learning theory applied to real world experience in a vocation in any economic sector, which is what is accomplished by teams and individuals who set out place their idea and project recorded in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Idea Index .
I am an early Capstone graduate back to my first thesis on education in High School where I examined alternative methods of how people learn and the history of education. It is a method by which I have approached any new project I take on through work, community or home.
By the end of lunch, Ralph suggested that in a sense everything I have done over the last decade has grown into a living chronicle of sustainable education. I took his observation seriously and began to design an approach to this blog that reflected that.
Ralph's feedback to me is also grounded in his years of work and study in Sweden that gives provides both of us an quality foundation from which to converse, learn and teach. I am looking forward to reviewing Ralph's new book on scenario planning which is now in production and attending the December program for Marlboro Sustainability MBA Students to learn how I can contribute.
Three years ago as an outgrowth of my research on non ionizing radiation where I first reported a summary for Strategy and Business On line Leading Ideas: Cell Phone Health Hazards: Threat and Opportunity, this led me on yet another research opportunity to learn what was distinct with the December 2006 European Union Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals legislation (REACH).
Unlike any previous environmental legislation in EU or United States, REACH is not about compliance or banning use, REACH legislation pushes manufacturing companies doing business in the European Union to think differently about the products they produce and the chemicals they emit. This legislation is mandating a new forum of education through which manufacturers need to partner with all sectors to generate a new forum of learning from which to build sustainable learning and act on what is learned.
I am now synthesizing what I believe this learning model is now and can be. The Precautionary Principle is pushing a new format of learning that is interactive and requires thought. While the education has a technical basis drawing on a high level of math, science and technology, this learning does is going to push people to be life long learners in and out of school environments. The learning practice will require constant assessment of the knowledge and its application to what is relevant today in matters of work, health and environment. No matter what sector you live or work in or culture, you will have to extract continuously knowledge from representatives of multiple expertise and culture to understand the current scientific agenda that assures citizens an investigation into early warnings or hints of harm and helps foster a dialogue to "do no harm."
This type of conversation may be advancing into a new inquiry format that has global representation this year at the International EMF Conference 2009, Stavanger Norway. This conference is an outgrowth of the last years inquiry hosted in UK by Radiation Research Trust.
Olle Johansson, M.D., Karolinska Institute sent me my invitation which I celebrated, even thought I am disappointed that I cannot attend. . Olle has been an exceptional member of my advice network since I was captured by the EMF global inquiry in 2003. He has joined in my conversation to learn if Non-ionizing EMF radiation could benefit from adoption into the REACH category of legislation which would move this issue forward for intelligent and responsible response in the US. Since while REACH legislation was passed by the European Parliament, it is relevant to any manufacturer selling product in EU, so it includes US manufacturers.
There is a recent advancement in the EMF discussion in Europe summarized at the Stavanger Conference Invitation that describes this advancement in the context of the Precautionary Principle,
regulatory limits are falling. An overwhelming majority of the European
Parliament recently voted for a set of changes based on health concerns
associated with electromagnetic fields. In a resolution 4th September
2008, the European Parliament notes that “the limits on exposure to
electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are
obsolete”, “obviously take no account of developments in information
and communication technologies”, and “do not
address the issue of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn
babies and children.” These eye-opening statements are indeed
remarkable. A few countries have already acted in line with sound
This is an area in which the United States is behind Europe. I believe if I can find a funding source to attend this meeting, I can develop a report that will be a valuable tool to industry and all sectors and ultimately people sensitive to EMF toxicity. This toxin displaces people from their homes, communities of belonging and much more when it complicates a person's health and can harm their finances or push them to lose insurance coverage when in a country where insurance relies on the private sector for coverage. This social frontier is the last to be discussed in a way that goes beyond how often issues of scientific research are addressed to exercise precaution.
New Articles are posted here:
Starting June 2007, in the
European Union Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals
legislation (REACH) went into effect. Like the
“End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (2000), “Restriction on the use of certain
hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products” directive (2002)
and the “Waste electrical and electronic equipment” directive (2002), REACH
legislation pushes manufacturing companies doing business in the European Union
to think differently about the products they produce and the chemicals they
Within the context of a global dialogue today, this principle is an outgrowth of a global dialogue that has taken place over 40 years contributed to by thousands of environmental experts, non-governmental organizations and private citizens that met over the course of numerous international conferences that was launched by the Brundtland Commission, which was convened by the UN and chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland in 1983.
My contribution to IGI Global's User Driven and Narrative Medicine and adding my framework to be integrated through out the book.
Leveraged from the ideas and cases shared in this text book, I am building a design for a subscriber base blog to build a community of practice in Narrative Medicine.
A group of people will convene in New York sometime before 2010 to build a plan in action to form a professional association for clinicians and patients advocates who work with this approach to health practice. I will be the convener of this group.
Be sure to read announcements on our blog from
Just in from Carnegie Council for Students of Sustainability, A Carnegie Council Competition
Posted at 12:40 PM in AboutWorkEcology, ArtKleiner.com, Brundtland Commission, CarnegieCouncil.org, Culture of Change, Current Affairs, Economy, EMF & Microwave Health Risks, HazelHenderson.com, Healthy Community, Precautionary Principle, REACH, WECare | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)
Tags: Culture of Change, Emerging MultiNational Corporations, Emerging MultiNational Networks, EMF, Marlboro College Audubon Society, MBA Sustainability, Precautionary Principle, REACH, WorkEcology
Starting June 2007, in the European Union Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals legislation (REACH) went into effect. Like the “End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (2000), “Restriction on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products” directive (2002) and the “Waste electrical and electronic equipment” directive (2002), REACH legislation pushes manufacturing companies doing business in the European Union to think differently about the products they produce and the chemicals they emit.
Each of these directives serves to address the substances used to manufacture these products, and in some instances how to recycle the materials contained within these products, expand the scope of product to technology and monitor the potential risk of chemicals contained in products and considers how to dispose the waste of these chemicals or to replace them with less hazardous ones.
The aim of all these directives is to improve the protection of the environment and human health by putting greater responsibility on the manufacturers to monitor potential high risk and to report on new chemicals and other exposures that can replace more hazardous ones, consider how to dispose the waste of products at the end of their life cycle.
In June 2008, a new initiative described as REACH-IT was established as a central registration organization based in Finland. Any manufacturer doing business in the European Union is required to register chemical substances they manufacture or use in the amount of one ton or more.
All this legislation, in short, places the “burden of proof” on manufacturers – to be certain of dangerous effects before the fact; while the products are in development and in the case of vehicle manufacturing consider the impact of the materials contained within the product in preparation for how they are recycled.
News outlets within manufacturing, e.g. ANSI have been reporting that REACH in China is now on the drawing table, making REACH a global manufacturing mandate. China and Korea have already adopted RoHS and WEEE.
“REACH forces a new
approach,” says Gil Friend,
a longstanding environmental writer and CEO of Natlogic, a California-based consulting firm. Through Friend’s leadership, the consultants of Natlogic deliver strategic sustainability consulting to companies and communities, with integrated, results-focused programs that build profit and competitive advantage while reducing your organization's environmental footprint, waste and risk
According to Friend, “REACH suggests that manufacturing executives must rethink how they approach strategy and hence research and development.” In other words, REACH follows a countervailing premise to the typical approach – that polluters are “innocent until proven guilty.” Instead, REACH is an example of an idea that will increasingly influence the corporate world – and that corporate leaders don’t yet know how to respond to strategically. This idea is known, in environmental circles, as “The Precautionary Principle.”
This type of thinking raises these questions:
1. What is implied by REACH?
2. What does this imply with respect to “exercising precaution.”
3. Sustainable Value Creation can create a Strategic Manufacturing Response?
Implications of REACH and REACH-IT?
President of Design Chain Associates, LLC, notes that REACH came about because of the frustration that is more common today with the increasing number of studies on toxicity and environmental impact creating confusion rather than clear scientific direction. Lots of studies either explicitly or more often, show a possible connection between a specific chemical substance and a problem for humans, animals or the environment.
Design Chain Associates provides services that help Electronics OEMs and other product manufacturers increase engineering, procurement, and production efficiency, product and operational environmental performance, and corporate profitability by ensuring that the right decisions about supply base and the environment are made during the earliest stages of the product lifecycle, and are built-in to corporate strategies and tactics.
Kirschner has been one of the leading practice leaders, preparing the Supply Chain to understand REACH by monitoring current and global events related to REACH and participating in a global forum funded by the European Commision at UC Berkeley’s Center for Institutions and Governance , directed by Heddy Riss. Ms. Riss has at UC Berkeley has convened a group of where academic leaders across the expertise of government, policy, law and environmental science to understand the implications of REACH and the role Academics can serve to educate and/or respond to manufacturing education and professional development.
Kirschner's action research on the history of environmental law and manufacturing's response to those laws in California, Korea, China and the EU has been a key contribution to the community convened by Ms. Riss through Berkeley and Standford University. Kirschner believes that downstream more conversations are going to have to occur in the context of when and how to exercise precaution. He has ascertained that percentage of manufacturers, particularly SME’s in the EU and US (doing business with the EU) who are aware of REACH and have some understanding may be as low as 30%.
According to Kirschner, with WEEE and RoHS the 30% of manufacturers who sought education on this legislation initiated a response by building systems of compliance. The cost of compliance to the EU’s RoHS directive was $32.7B across the entire electronics supply chain, or about 1.1% of total annual industry revenue.
Unlike RoHS and WEEE, REACH asks for the introduction of an ongoing process of review, which is guiding manufacturers to integrate a more strategic system of learning, evaluation, review and discovery which measures a thought leadership practice described as “Sustainable Value,” whereby manufacturing owns responsibility by
The supply chain is not designed to make compliance with these sorts of regulations easy, since it was not designed with REACH in mind. Companies and educational institutions are not configured to instruct about REACH or facilitate its implementation. This presents serious infrastructure problems and a call for developing educational programs for manufacturers cross numerous industries that include chemicals, automotive, electronics, medical devices and bio-pharmaceuticals to name a few.
Kirshner believes that there is an opportunity for large manufacturers, e.g. Dupont to organize to educate the supply chain and enable change across the entire sector, so that small manufacturers within the sector can be responsive and not get lost in the chaos of change due to the cost of reorganization and access to educational forums.
1. Reach is more than a law about chemical substances?
2. It implies that a manufacturer of any tangible article/product, e.g. toys, vehicles, clothing, furniture, electronics can have many parts which have many chemical substances.
3. Example: A desk-top computer has upwards of 2000 chemical substances.
4. REACH is only concerned with what may be less than 2000 substances of very high concern (SVHC’s), which include but are not limited to
a. Carcinogenices, mutagenics and toxic for reproduction CMR, and it is these substances that are registered.
b. PBT’s 9 persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very toxic PBT’s
c. Endocrine disruptors or any substance equivalent in concern and impact on health.
5. The initial list of SVHC’s will be published in October. Thus far, non-profit environmental groups have identified 300 substances as SVHC’s versus 16 identified by the European Commission to date. Part of the process of registration will be to replace use of substances that prove harmful with new ones.
Implications of REACH IT and its data base?
Kirshcner has outlined from his view that the best response for most manufacturers registering SVHC’s with REACH IT is to
1. Be proactive and register. If you don’t register you could find that you have fulfilled an order of a product that will be banned from shipment.
2. Work with the experts in your network – research based scientists in the non profit and academic sector, manufacturers who supply you components used within your products that contain SVHC’s, your r&d staff and government agencies that track and monitor issues related to these SVHC’s, e.g. the EPA.
3. This permits people to realize where the risk lies within your network beyond your own company and who you will have to work with to respond if a substance proves harmful and what the recommendations are
4. This may result in through a passive process of you learning about contaminants through Product Change Notices that are removed from use and insure you have suppliers who provide you replacement components adopting new substances.
5. Organize your leadership group to join in an education forum out of which they can learn to see opportunities and formulate strategies with a long view.
6. Parallel to preparing your organization to build and act on a more strategic view, build a new communication chain to learn about the status of SVHC research that is proactive with your supply network, scientists who perform research on substances independent of your company and government agencies, who will be responding to defining levels of toxicity through medical and environmental research.
7. Through your larger social network outlined in recommendations 3 and 6 begin to examine opportunities for how your company and products can exercise precaution so that people you sell your products to or people who live by manufacturing plants owned by you or your suppliers are not harmed.
What does this mean with respect to Exercising Precaution?
REACH follows a
countervailing premise to the typical approach – that polluters are “innocent until
proven guilty.” Instead, REACH is an example of an idea that will increasingly
influence the corporate world – and that corporate leaders don’t yet know how
to respond to strategically. This idea is known, in environmental circles, as
“The Precautionary Principle.”
This all serves to underscore the opportunity for exercising the Precautionary Principle with a more concrete approach that pushes companies to register and examine the global data base organized by European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and examine how this data can translate to the flow of conversations within a company and with its value chain of suppliers, distributors and consumers.
At present, The REACH-IT format and design is an opportunity to redesign data management with a focus on compliance and building information to identify patterns and historical trends from which to define response to a more strategic knowledge management practices satisfies inquiring minds and wise practices for manufacturers who accept the responsibility of REACH.
The question becomes what is critical to IT design to organize from a data management view into a more strategic view where by data can become part of a practice of wisdom and managed as knowledge that monitors return on investment.
expert IT designer and organizational strategist, has asserted that the application of technology and the design of data bases that serve organizations to work wisely and will empower the people within these organizations to develop a flow of conversations as modeled successfully by Toyota that permits them to learn from mistakes and even invent mistakes to learn from and build on new social realities that shape intention and purpose.
Collecting information (data) and analyzing it and therefore ascertaining how to develop, invest and sustain maintenance of technology and systems is increasingly become a significant focus on monitoring the bottom line and organizational roi, hence how to define the purpose and intent of knowledge management is the focus of this chapter by Chauncey Bell in Moving from Knowledge Management to Wisdom. From his review of C. West Churchman’s inquiry into designing systems, from his analysis of responsibilities, roles in organization and how information is related to by all people in an organization in order to assure a viable future, Chauncey Bell succeeds in capturing the reader’s attention to recognize that a limited view of design, task and technology is now what adds up to an ethical high performance that engages people in inquiry that assures a companies future and hence, continuous improvement of a organizations performance.
The traditional forms of preparation that managers conduct to assure a future that include strategic planning, forecasting demand, proposal and review of capital budgets. Decisions re: capital expenditures, management of cash flow relative to capital investment, execution of capital projects, accounting and measuring rate of return on investment can be expensive, bureaucratic and generate a lot of paper.
The question becomes what is the role of people (and who) in relating to these tasks and how does leadership organize itself unifying the organization to make future investments quickly, potentially stretched over a long period of time that may be unconventional and further progress of goofy ideas that engage the type of learning that assures a future.
In this chapter, Bell outlines a thought leadership and analysis of the complex interplay of what builds a “wise” practice in organizations between people and how innovation can emerge as a result. Bell’s maps out an understanding of what comprises organizational performance and why some organizations are market responsive and innovative while others simply sit dormant with mechanical responses that compromise the future of the companies value to its stakeholders. As a person specializing in IT design for organizations, Bell maps out a thinking that injects life into the an organization where the cost of collecting data and learning from that data can be excessive if a purpose and intent for learning is not mapped out to assure an organization future.
This perspective is key to establishing investment relationships of any kind whether based on venture, philanthropy or cooperative work (elbow grease). Bell is one of the few thought leaders who bases his thought leadership on philosophy on language and philosophy, who takes into account how people learn. Hence growing from observations new possibilities from which a group of people can act to construct a new viable future.
REACH has the potential to be an example of how manufacturing can build a new social reality that is concrete and respects the Precautionary Principle With purpose and intention, manufacturers and their supply chain can author conversations based on possibilities and zero in on the requests and promises it takes to act and respond to insure they do no harm. More important the registration system with REACH IT creates accountability. Hence, it puts the onus on manufacturers to work with their supply chains for the benefit of their consumers to learn from recommendations authored by the independent scientific community on how to apply these recommendations to exercise precaution and ongoing review the substances, components an products to “do no harm.”
One attempt to provide such education was by The European Union Environmental Protection Agency, when it released a report in January 2002 titled, Late Lessons from Early Warnings: the Precautionary Principle 1896-2000. The report is written from the perspective that scientific research as innovative as it is can no longer predict the consequences of hazardous substances on health and the environment. This report summarized the results of an investigation regarding 14 costly hazards e.g. radiation, benzene, asbestos and polycholorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Within each report authored by a subject matter scientific expert is a description of the history of harm, the early lessons and how and how exercised or misused the concept of precaution and where the findings influenced the adoption of government regulations that mandated manufacturing compliance.
The report also summarized the difficulty and challenges ahead based on this history with exercising precaution because of the confusion on how to deal with scientific uncertainties and potential hazards, where conflicting research makes it impossible to draw quality scientific confusions.
Historically, where there is a threat or appears to be a threat, environmentalists organized through non profit organizations and government agencies oversaw the definition of standards and requirements for legislation and policy. Through either reports of hazardous events or the dissemination of research that is often conflicting, corporations traditionally responded to the information overload challenging the research results validity or initiating activities to suppress the information circulated. With the introduction of new environmental legislation and policies, fewer than 30% of manufacturers were in a communication channel or association that assured education on which they can act.
An example of a current topical issue that has been given great press attention as of late relates to the potential threat of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation produced by cell phones often described as EMF exposure. EMF, while not defined as a chemical substances is surrounded by the type of confusion that often prevents any conclusions to be drawn that can advise consumers and manufacturers. Larry King, who has produced 2-3 shows on Cell Phones and Cancer , interviewed Dr. Devra Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh's Cancer Institute. Dr. Davis illustrated this point well when she stated, “The reality is we do not have studies yet and, with all due respect, we can't vote on whether or not cell phones cause cancer with polls. What we need is independent research. In fact, Dr. Herberman , Dr. Song and Dr. Bondy who were also interviewed by King made note that the cell phone industries need to make their data publicly available for independent evaluation by scientists. A transcript of this conversation is available at here from CNN
In the EMF world,
confusion has mounted over the past 3-5 years as non profit groups and academic
research centers report on research findings that are contradictory or position
dissemination of research as a form of attack and debate. In the UK through
cooperation with the UK’s Minister of Health and Safety, Sir William Stewart a
group of private citizens have formed the Radiation Research Trust, (RRT),
led by Executive Director, Eileen O’Connor. Sir William Stewart retired last year and it is wonderful to see that the dialogue he cheered and supported with RRT is now sustainable.
O'Connor is a breast cancer survivor whose health was challenged by EMF exposure. On September 7, 2008, RRT convened a meeting of 72 expert scientists from around the world, conducting independent research apart from industry to examine the research to date and make recommendations for the future. The experts invited to present represent different views, research results and experiences.
At this time it is unclear if EMF would be listed as a hazard in the REACH IT data base, since this hazard is not a substance within a product, but the design of the product can emit this potentially threatening hazard. While this meeting is drawing from experts involved years of social networking and research activities across government agencies of all locales (local to international), it does not address the question of how manufacturers can exercise precaution and how manufacturing can benefit from exercising precaution regarding this potential hazard.
With the onus on manufacturers to now exercise precaution, the method by which to approach this and operationalize this kind of strategy would consider independent science and applying that scientific knowledge to a strategic process fo sustainable value creation, which will shift how the environmental advocates, scientists, legislators and policy makers relate business.
While advocates for
the environment and scientific researchers have refused to work directly with
business. Pulitzer Prize winner, Jared Diamond believes that big business is
most powerful force in the modern world and it won’t be possible to solve
environmental problems without business. Diamond in his most recent book,
selected to write about some of the most significant environmental problems in the context of business realities, making the case that without business we cannot avoid collapse of societies.
Yet there are businesses who have chosen to address potential collapse and launch inquiries from which sustainable value creation can be measured as a return on investment.
What is Sustainable Value Creation and what are its merits?
This idea of Sustainable Value Creation has been defined by Thought Leader, Chris Laszlo. Laszlo recently authored
Laszlo is a managing partner and founder of Sustainable Value Partners, a global consulting firm based in Washington DC. Chris defines through his experience with clients and colleagues, a new
thought leadership for “how business can be an agent of world benefit.” In the foreward of this book, Tyler J. Elm, former Corporate Strategy and Finance Director at Walmart Stores points out of the world’s largest 100 economies, 42 of these economies are corporations not countries.
In the context of what Diamond and Elm have asserted, Chris Laszlo provides a thought leadership that concretely demonstrates how organizations can launch an inquiry process of learning and design to build sustainable value creation. The stories actual case studies of how Dupont, LaFarge, Nature Works, a subsidiary fo Cargill and Walmart engaged with this transformational process and what results they produced in terms of the environment, society/local. Within each case study, Laszlo identifies the leadership and their drivers to author a strategy that produced tangible and concrete results financially that were environmentally sound and in some instances impacted improvement in the lives of people who lived near or worked for these companies.
For example, at Dupont the intiatives were led by both the CEO, Chad Holliday and Dr. Paul Tebo, Corporate Vice President for Health, Safety and the Environment. Holliday called for the development of sustainable initiatives after earnest in 1988 after Greenpeace activists hung a banner at Dupont labeling this company the number 1 polluter. Tebo saw an opportunity to be ahead of the curve on government regulation and create a performance and practice that would shape regulation.
Through the unwaivering support of Holliday, and the company’s decision to integrate sustainability into the companies performance metrics and compensation plans for key employees, and the outreach to other sectors through a partnership with a non-profit educational institute World Resources Institute to achieve a 10% renewable energy goal and establishing an advisory board that drew on expertise from biotechnology and health. In 1995, Holliday pointed out the value of building many forms of partnerships with stakeholders from all sectors –government, citizen groups and scientists. He pointed out the benefits of this through dialogue was the only way to spark innovation that would address human need.
By 2015, Dupont plans to double its investment, increase its revenues from non-depletable resources to at least $8B and grow annual revenues by at least $2B from products that create energy efficiency or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Laszlo also provided a a description of process and tools to carry out these initiatives that include
Through Laszlo’s storytelling, he showed the merits of sustainable value creation when integrated with company strategy and driven by the leadership of the organization.
This thought leadership has moved leaders within many companies to
Within the European Union and China architecture and organization is being established to track approximately 2000 substances that have the potential of doing harm under the legislative requirements of REACH. This legislation places the onus on manufacturing to exercise precaution and monitor the possibility of doing harm. In legislating this registry into action, the European Parliament has mandated manufacturing to move past environmental legislative acts that mandated compliance to influence manufacturing to build a data base that can assure a process is put in place to assess and monitor potentially hazardous substances and to share in the continuous learning relative to these substances from which to learn how to act and prevent harm, hence exercising precaution.
Previously skeptics of The Precautionary Principle have gotten lost in the confusion and contradictory reports of research with respect to waiting until enough research is collected as proof of harm or no harm. This reinforces the past cycles of proving harm until harm is so significant, e.g. tobacco before precaution is exercised and surrounds the topical issue of the time with more confusion created by liability suits and the discoveries of harmful impact on generations of people not yet born. This kind of cycle re-enforces advocacy patterns of protest and debate and dissemination of information that overwhelms people and creates business to build postures of defense or deceit.
With the onus implied by REACH on manufacturing, there is a need for new forms of engagement from which manufacturing can learn if it is doing harm, rather than waiting for independent resources to point out that harm and the cost to the consumer and entire communities of people. Thought Leader Chauncey Bell has provided a thought leadership to measure IT activity in service of tracking return on investment whereby leaders can learn and translate this learning into conversations and responsive actions,
Sustainable value creation as a thought leadership defined by Chris Laszlo provides a concrete process and method by which manufacturing can engage a leadership practice to exercise precaution, author imaginative strategies and define tangible and intangible schemes of how to measure return on investment that is financially viable and protects the environment and the sustainability of geographical regions. This form of engagement is created from the perspective of leadership authoring a strategy that can identify potential harm and build a knowledge base from which not to do harm that build innovative responses that are profitable and sustain the value of a company.
This approach creates value through inquiry, learning and developing systems of application that shifts a corporation to move from developing costly systems of compliance to integrating what they learn outside the company with what they do in the company by identifying who, what and how potential hazards harm to a strategic approach that integrates the cost of learning with the opportunity to gain return on investment that is as much about profit as it is preventing or decreasing environmental harm and assuring societies and the people harm to their health and the environment in which they live.
It brings manufacturing to the threshold of opportunity perceived by Practice Leader, Michael Kirschner who observes that
“the entities with the capabilities to address, at least to the 80%/90% level, the major chemical issues worldwide are the largest of the large manufacturers, governments, NGOs, and universities with major chemistry departments. There is of course a whole massive set of problems that the SMEs and supply chains that stretch back upstream and again converge at a few huge chemical manufacturers.”
If you thread together the thought leadership and practice leadership outlined here, the solutions that can grow out of the REACH mandate for manufacturing may build a bridge from which large manufacturers can become hubs of knowledge and sustainable value creatiion rather than barriers to change and collapse of markets.