Nature’s 10 Simple Rules for Business Survival

The helix of sustainability - minimum environm...

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Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S published an excellent book last year: Strategy for Sustainability – Building sustainable businesses in turbulent times.

Like every significant business change it needs to come from within (inside to out) to ensure that it doesn’t just sound like “just another short-lived management initiative”! So forget “top down” and embrace “bottom up” to ensure employee engagement. This is the route to delivering and maintaining competitive advantage through sustainable stakeholder value including your supply chain.

“In the emerging fields of biomechanics and biomimicry, scientists are decoding rules that can help form businesses as hardy and long lasting as a forest. After all, nature is far harsher than the market: If you are not sustainable, you die. No second chances and no bailouts. Businesses that are capable of dealing with the challenges of a changing world will be better able to respond and to lead”.

1. Diversify across generations.

2. Adapt to the changing environment — and specialize.

3. Celebrate transparency. Every species knows which species will eat it and which will not.

4. Plan and execute systematically, not compartmentally. Every part of a plant contributes to its growth.

5. Form groups and protect the young. Most animals travel in flocks, gaggles, and prides. Packs offer strength and efficacy.

6. Integrate metrics. Nature brings the right information to the right place at the right time. When a tree needs water, the leaves curl; when there is rain, the curled leaves move more water to the root system.

7. Improve with each cycle. Evolution is a strategy for long-term survival.

8. Right-size regularly, rather than downsize occasionally. If an organism grows too big to support itself, it collapses; if it withers, it is eaten.

9. Foster longevity, not immediate gratification. Nature does not buy on credit and uses resources only to the level that they can be renewed.

10. Waste nothing, recycle everything. Some of the greatest opportunities in the 21st century will be turning waste — including inefficiency and underutilization — into profit.”

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Which are you and which will you be, Gen Y, Gen X or Gen G?

If you have read any of my previous blog entries (thanks if you have and WHY NOT? if you haven’t) you will already know that I have been firmly of the opinion that we are nowhere near the end of this recession. Furthermore that the “money” that has been printed, promised and pumped into the financial system is the only thing that has kept the market at false levels whilst those “in the market” continue to cream off the rewards…at everyone else’s expense!

Having said that I honestly and fervently believe that these will be the final acts of institutions and a breed of capitalist whose collective and individual greed will be their undoing. They have, at least, remained true to type during the last 2 years by stuffing their pockets whilst the are still able. Hopefully, it will be the final manifestation of the: top down – command & control – prescriptive – short term – results driven – opaque – bonus culture of ME. So it’s not all doom and gloom.

Now WE can get on with rebuilding: inside to out [i2o] – inclusive – engaged – sustainable – strategic – transparent – shared.

WE need “Responsible Capitalism”…quickly.


Generation G:

I feel so positive that I want to share [again] some information that I first referred to as a novice blogger back in Feb 2009. Click on the following link. Read it. Enjoy it. Embrace it.

If it doesn’t make you feel better see a quack. If it does let me know and let other people know. Do something about it.

“Giving is the new taking and sharing is the new giving”

Please remember that “conventional wisdom” got us into this mess so now is the time to “unleash” the ideas you have had because, let’s face it, you can’t screw up as badly as others have already done!!!

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“Don’t panic…don’t panic (yet)”

A familiar cry if you are a forty-something who grew up in an era when Dad’s Army was prominent in the “world of light entertainment” when a memorable catchphrase was a bit of a mainstay. But, let’s face it, times have changed. Dramatically and in every sphere of life.

How long has it been since you could say that something was “safe as BoE”? Along with “safe as Fort Knox”, these sayings was pretty common place when you were growing up…certainly, if, like me, you were born in the 60’s?

“And now for something completely different”

The Bank of England has said that the UK’s economic growth is set to pick up, although risks to the recovery remain.
Don’t trust The Management, or The Government or (even) BoE…  

Remember the desperation at Northern Rock branches a few years ago? Depositors queued up to get their hands on their savings, petrified they wouldn’t see them again.

‘The Rock’ released statement after statement saying all was well, and that savers and shareholders shouldn’t be nervous. The company was in good shape, they said.

Of course this is exactly what the guys at the top have to say. If they don’t, they risk a loss of confidence. But you shouldn’t believe a word of it…

And now the same kind of messages of reassurance came from European politicians and bankers to defend Greece’s position. Of course, the markets don’t believe a word of it. And nor should you.

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