Customer Manifesto:: “how it be bruv!”

The tables have turned but the fact that so little has changed is OUR OWN FAULT.

Why would the Corporate world, that has so effectively exploited its power for so long, willingly give up that position?

If the new business models of the Digital Age are the one’s responding to customer needs and demands for demonstrable value – through greater transparency – we should not allow inertia or fear of change to hold us back from the sustainable benefits of loyalty built upon the ability to TRUST.


The “problems” aren’t new but the tools that enable group communication and collaboration are. I was born in a decade when most televisions were black & white and, within the last 25 years a computer, phone, camera, television, games console were separate items and certainly didn’t fit on a single hand-held device!!!  

SO WHY are we wasting what we have engaging in “LOL or OMG at silly videos” and swapping meaningless nonsense about celebrity culture, when there is so much wrong with a world that we take for granted…

rise_like_lions_445 There is a massive job that requires many hands and minds working together, with one purpose, for the common good. Toward a more equitable, sustainable, future for communities in crisis and the generations that follow.

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Build Community for a Resilient future:: M3 Planning

M3 Planning wade-in on one of my favourite topics: business resilience and use another, family business, to illustrate the power of a common bond or purpose. Interdependence is a feature of the most resilient natural or man-made systems…whether local, global or glocal!

Thanks to the vision and drive of Martin Stepek, Scotland has the Scottish Family Business Association to help develop and promote resilience in Scotland through our numerous family businesses.

Everyday we see the ripple effect that healthy organizations have on their internal and external communities. Their power to attract and retain engaged staff that create vibrant communities can lead to a successful nation and world.

For those who might not know it, M3 Planning is a company established by a mother, father and daughter team. Beyond DNA, the three shared another bond – to make long-term planning a more straightforward and beneficial process that could be accessible to thousands of businesses instead of just the Fortune 500s of the world.

The business started nine years ago, and like the rest of the country, M3 Planning has weathered economic crises and been honoured to witness how hundreds of companies have done the same by keeping long-term strategy in mind.

Family-run companies, according to Harvard Business Review’s November edition, weather hard economic times better than companies with more dispersed ownership. The article’s key point – family businesses focus on resilience more than performance.

Though the study found family-owned businesses did not make as much money during good economic times, consistently the average long-term financial performance was higher than non-family businesses in all seven countries examined.

Certainly being resilient is not relegated to family operations, and can be tied to management practices that invest in their people, encourage retention and result in fiscal stability.

  1. They’re frugal in good times and bad. This behaviour also is keeping debt low, deciding not to spend more than they make, choosing projects that show a good return on their own merits, and acquiring fewer companies.
  2. They are highly diversified and are more international, with a higher percentage of their revenues coming from outside their home region than nonfamily firms.
  3. They retain talent better than their competitors. In part, that can be attributed to greater financial stability, which reduces the need for layoffs. But these organizations also spend more on training their people: $1,172 a year per employee on average versus an average of $445 at non-family firms.
    Most families have this hardwired to some degree, but beyond the boundaries of families, we have the capacity to establish resilience when we allow ourselves to care and prioritize in favour of the same things. Be it family businesses, healthy organizations, tight-knit communities or groups with common interests, these are all places in which we all live together.

We all have witnessed the power of community in 2012: strength, support, and caring are points where humanity shines through. In 2013, we will continue to honour and support groups who are driving toward improving their communities.

When all the metrics are met and goals checked off, there is no better strategic outcome that can be created than to positively impact the lives of those in your world. Blessings to everyone during this sacred season, we hope you see great things on your horizon personally, professionally and for your communities.

The Inevitable Next Economy

The Human Productivity Chart

Courtesy of Dan Robles (Ingenesist

Human civilization has progressed through many stages.  Each stage arose from the “integration” of the tools developed in the prior stage.  Believe it or not, the next economic paradigm will arise from the integration of the tools being developed in the current stage of human development. Let me explain:

Hunter -gatherer:

We started as hunter-gathers who travelled from place to place to follow animal migrations and seasonal flora.  People would collect fallen branches and burn them for heat or cooking.  Then people started to sharpen rocks that could be used to hunt food better than a dull rock. They sharpened rocks to chop down trees for warmth and shelter.  Soon they sharpened rocks to till soil.

The agrarians

The arrival of the agrarian age came when the arrow, the axe, and the plough were integrated; that is, the output of one became the input of another – allowing people to conserve energy and increasing productivity. The emergence of communities led to the division of labour as people specialized their skills. People soon developed tools and techniques for forging metals, building structures, and harnessing of forces such as wind, sun, water, and domesticated animals.


The arrival of City-States arose when division of labour, harnessing forces, and transportation became integrated.  Spare time became available to experiment in ideas such as governance, laws, civil services, and currency. Travel allowed for trade of goods, services, and the spread of knowledge across great distances.

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Why systems-thinking and Complexity management are vital for survival

Collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole. Competitors who evolve as peers collapse in like manner.


The Collapse of Complex Civilisations (1988, p214)

Complexity is a characteristic of dynamic systems. It is the multiple inter-connections, sometimes referred to as the “problem-solving capability”, without which the system cannot perform its intended purpose(s). Every system has a sustainable level of complexity [critical complexity].

Butterfly Effect: Due to the inter-connectedness of systems the impact of a single (even relatively minor) event can be manifest in more than one outcome.

Catastrophic changes in the overall state of a system can ultimately derive from how it is organised — from feedback mechanisms within it, and from linkages that are latent and often unrecognised.

From a report for Federal Reserve Bank of New York Read more of this post

Knowledge Economy: business as PART OF (not apart from) community

I you are at all “read” in the broad subject of complexity you may already be aware of the established links between: information – learning – intelligence – complexity – innovation. If not, this recent article from Wall Street Journal, about  a report, The Atlas of Economic Complexity may be of interest.

But elements of this blog item (apart from a useful infographic) really struck home and I wanted to share it. We have had the usual ham-fisted attempt by Politicians to promote the “Big Society” as if, by sticking a label on it, they could lay claim to a successful strategy…or blame citizens and society if/when it doesn’t work as hoped! In truth, whilst the “spirit” is sound, when delivered by Government against a backdrop of Austerity, it sounded and smelt like more “top down” BS!

I’ve been looking at ways to explain why social learning is so important for business today. It comes down to the fact that what we know and do inside our organizations is insufficient to address external complexity or to be innovative

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