Posts by This Writer

12 years 11 months ago

Business and love - chalk and cheese? Or an essential step towards ensuring that businesses truly serve their customers, in turn essential for sustainability?

Since Tim Sanders wrote the best seller "Love is the Killer App" (published in 2002) the word love has crept ever more widely into business usage.

But what is love? And what does it really mean in a business context?

People have been writing about love since ..., well, since writing began, I'm sure. There's even the beginning of a psychological literature on the subject, although perhaps not quite as much as you'd expect for such an important subject.

I don't really know for sure what love is, but I...

13 years 3 months ago

A colleague introduced me to the great Ken Robinson, a very funny speaker and holder of strong views on education. Last night, I watched him talk about his latest book, the Element, which is about the importance of having a passion for what you do in life.

If we follow our passions, Robinson argues, we are so much more motivated to do our work, are so much better at it, and we can achieve, much, much more.

He also made very clear the link between the problems we face in running up against resource constraints (land, water, oil etc) and the importance of following that passion. His suggestion is that for us, as a society, to find a way out of...

13 years 3 months ago

One of the programmes I most hate on the radio is Any Questions on BBC Radio 4. Of course, I don't really hate it. I hate it only in the sense that I enjoy listening to it so that I get many opportunities to loudly prounounce "What an idiot!".

The brilliant idea of bringing together people into a setting where whatever they say is bound to cause offence to other participants or those in the audience pre-dates reality TV by many many years of course. And it's really entertaining in a true sense...

13 years 4 months ago

In difficult times, as in good times, I think it's important to focus on the basics. Perhaps more so.

What are the essentials for a sustainable business? I can feel a list coming on.

Firstly, be agreed on what you are trying to achieve. Knowing this can get you through the toughest times.

Secondly, believe in profit. I know this is a little controversial. Some will say it is obvious. Others will not like the idea of profit as essential.

Profit is such a emotional topic, although mostly we don't admit that. For many it has a bad name. And on the...

13 years 5 months ago

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<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">I was planning to post on the topic of purchasing decisions today, when by coincidence I saw Jeremy Litchfield's interesting <a href="allthings/410/The-Responsibility-is-Ours.html">post</a> on consumer responsibility. Isn't it great when things fit together like that?</p>
<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">One aspect of...

13 years 5 months ago

<p>A new year and a new president. Change is in the air. And as <a title="2020 Corporation" href="" target="_blank">lots of people</a> are saying, now is also the time for a new type of business.</p>
<p>A new type of business needs a new type of purpose. Sustainability is one.</p>
<p>A new type of purpose also needs a new type of marketing. Maybe not exactly a new type. But at least a return to a truer, more authentic type of marketing. Marketing that is about figuring out what people...

13 years 6 months ago

<p>At this time of year I guess we are all thinking about hearth and home. But a conversation with one of the founders of <a title="Gossypium" href="" target="_blank">Gossypium</a>, a great little business that started here in Lewes in 2001, got me thinking about the reality of building a sustainable business locally.</p>
<p>Gossypium sells organic and Fairtrade certified cotton, sourced directly from independent farmers in India. This is worthy in itself. But I think one of the things the company has...

13 years 7 months ago

<p>Lewes, where I live, is a Transition Town. The <a title="Transition Towns Network" href="" target="_blank">Transition movement</a> led by Rob Hopkins and Ben Brangwyn and based in Totnes in the UK is a very interesting movement.</p>
<p>It's different from some environmentally focussed groups in that it's not a protest group - it's not against anything. Rather it's focussed on creating positive solutions in response to climate change and "<a title="Peak Oil - Wikipedia" href="" target="_blank">peak oil</a>".</p>
<p>It's different because it's local...

13 years 7 months ago

<p>So what is a sustainable business exactly? Surely we must know by now.</p>
<li>Is it a green business?</li>
<li>Is it a business that is good at environmental management? That follows an ISO standard?</li>
<li>Is it a business that's good at CSR? At accountability? With a good human rights record?</li>
<p>I have a more simple definition. A sustainable business is one that lasts for ever.</p>
<p>OK, you'll jump on me now and say that simply lasting...

13 years 7 months ago

<p>My son has recently learnt to read. What a wonder and a joy. A whole new world of ideas magically available to him - the wisdom of the ages, and access to dreams of the future.</p>
<p>I went into Habitat, a local home furnishing retailer, to buy him a reading light. I saw a nice little light. I noticed it had a small, low energy bulb. I took a boxed one to the counter. Bought it and took it home.</p>
<p>How frustrating - when I opened the box there was no bulb.</p>
<p>For the first next couple of days I ranted and railed at anyone who would listen...