Intentions and Commitments for 2010
The beginning of the New Year is a time for reflections and for setting up intentions and commitments. I have not always done so, but this year I won’t fail to follow the tradition.
Over the past three months I have deeply reconsidered my professional path and purpose and it has become clear that it is time for me to go on my own and start my business. (Yes! I do believe it is the perfect time for me to do so, even in a time of economic recession.) While the specific wording of my mission statement is still evolving, its direction is already apparent:
To help transform organizations into purposeful and conscious living systems and to facilitate the resolution of adaptive challenges while considering the impact of all organizational activities on the community, the environment and the broader ecosystem.
Keeping a foot into theory and a foot into practice has always been essential to my personal fulfillment. I also believe that the sharing of knowledge with a broad audience has never been so critical at a time when it is urgent for our society to go through a paradigm shift and change our way of thinking. It is imperative for our collective consciousness to arise now or we run the risk of not making it as a civilization. (Note that I am seeing many positive and encouraging signs that a collective consciousness is in the process of emerging. Perhaps I’ll make this the topic of another post.)
Consequently, I see my work revolving around three pillars: consulting, research, and knowledge sharing. These three pillars are of course interdependent and mutually reinforcing: theories inform practice and practice provides the environment to test, validate, or update the theories which then can be shared and applied to resolve real world problems; and the loop keeps on going indefinitely.
While still in development and evolving, I am happy to share with you some of my preliminary business ideas around the three pillars.
The essence of my consulting practice is Transformative Work.
Organization/Community Transformative Work
My goal is to work with businesses, non-profit organizations, local governments, and communities who face adaptive (value-based) challenges, chronic problems, and the need to change. I see my clients as organizations and/or communities that seek:
- Greater clarity about—and alignment with—their purpose and identity.
- Higher level of mindfulness and consciousness driving all activities.
- Increased coherence and integration of all activities to achieve their purpose and greater good.
- New competencies, including adaptive learning capabilities and ability to address the root causes of problems.
- New strategic opportunities aligned with the organizational purpose.
- Increased resilience and ability to adapt to change.
Services for the Architectural, Engineering, and Urban Planning Professions
I intend to leverage my architectural training and my interests in collaborative integrated design process and in urban planning projects, combined with my systems thinking skills and knowledge about living systems theory, to serve the architectural and city planning community in two main capacities:
1- Sustainable and Regenerative Urban Design
I am currently investigating consulting opportunities with architects, city planners, and urban developers, and other stakeholders involved in the planning, design, and development of sustainable communities, eco-districts, and eco-cities.
2- Innovative Business Models in the Architectural/Engineering/Construction (AEC) Industry
I am also looking at providing my expertise to AEC firms with an interest in transforming their business models and developing innovative services that deliver higher values to their clients.
I take a holistic approach to organizational transformation and change that is grounded in the application of the following theoretical frameworks: systems thinking; complexity sciences; living systems principles; evolutionary theories; adaptive leadership; consciousness; and collaborative/integrated design process.
I believe there is a need to accelerate learning and bring new theories into the mainstream. So, beyond blogging, research papers, workshops and conferences I am currently exploring ways by which to amplify critical ideas and reach out to a larger audience. Social media plays a key role in this area.
This year will be my fourth-year as instructor with Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a distance learning MBA and Certificate program in sustainable business where I team-teach a Strategy & Implementation course and a Systems Thinking in Action course. BGI’s mission is to “Change Business for Good” and the entire community is actively engaged in co-creating a just and sustainable future. The BGI experience has been very rewarding to me and I look forward to continuing being involved with the Institute.
Of course, I am committed to writing this blog. It gives me the opportunity to stand back and reflect every week on diverse topics and ideas that are at the basis of my work. With a few exceptions, it has so far been a one-way communication. I hope that over the next few months you will engage in the conversation and share your comments and suggestions.
I will bring integrity, trust, excellence, openness, love and compassion in all that I do.
I believe that everything is connected and that solutions to our messiest problems can emerge out of our collective wisdom. Collaboration and dialogue are critical.
I see my adaptive leader role to be one of service.
I have recently joined other “citizens” at Designs for Sustainable World Collective, LLC (DSWCollective), a consulting firm that “bring(s) together a wide range of experts with complementary backgrounds to focus on the development and implementation of practical yet aggressive sustainable design strategies.” I very much look forward to collaborating with DSWCollective’s founder Darcy Winslow and her team in the near future. I am especially grateful to Darcy for having kindly accepted to put me under her wings and to mentor me over the next few months.
Over the holiday, I also reconnected with my friend Jeff Klein of Working for Good Collaborative. Jeff and his team are helping companies become more socially and environmentally conscious. I’ll be happy to offer my skills and expertise and be of service whenever and however it makes sense.
I have recently become a member of the Collective Wisdom Initiative, a website and network created in 2002 by the Fetzer Institute, whose purpose is to “help make visible an emerging field of collective wisdom, its study and practice.” It is my deeper desire to be able to help organizations and communities connect to their field of collective consciousness through dialogue, deep listening, and the power of love as the energy that reconnects that which has been separated.
I look forward to 2010 and all that it holds for me and for all of us!