Reflections 11th October

What I’ve noticed.

I’m seeing small, tentative but important steps towards dealing with our world as it is, rather than holding our breath hoping for Covid to go away.

It won’t of course. Like other coronaviruses – SARS, and MERS it will stay with us but fade into the background. Other novel Coronaviruses will emerge at some unknown point. They seem to be a consequence of the systemic impact of the way we are inhabiting the planet, and on that basis until we find more integrated ways of living we will have to learn to live with them.

I’m noticing more people thinking in more connected ways, about the consequences of what we have been doing as routine, mindless of potential consequences. What we eat. How, where and above all why we travel the way we do. Our consumption habits and our obsession with scale. The awareness that scale is optional – some things scale well (anything that connects people to people and ideas) whilst others don’t (packaging, cheap travel, nail bars and other peripheral goods and services that leave a trail of waste and pollution)

I think we’re beginning to move from noticing (episodic) to awareness (continuous) and expecting our leaders to do the same. It’s a start.

What is shaping my reflections?

Books, articles and other media that challenge us to engage with, rather than avoid what’s happening to us, and what it might mean.

When more is not better. Roger Martin has long been one of my “go to” writers for his considered, integrative way of thinking. In this book he looks forensically at how for the last fifty years the “American Dream” (and the less hyped version of most developed economies) have been an illusion and what we might consider to avoid where our obsession with growth might take us.

Crises breed Creativity. When faced with crises and our comfortable mental models no longer work, we have a chance to break free. Medium. 10 min read.

Harnessing Uncertainty – The power of cognitive dissonance. Progress lies in the discomfort that we feel right now. 10 mins. The Atlantic

We don’t have to make mediocrity at scale. When we can spend more to buy something that will make us smile for a long time as we use it.

A quote

“Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.”

Karl von Clausewitz

What I’ve Learned

That we can’t rush this, much as we’d like to. It’s taken us a couple of hundred years to create the mess we’ve made, and will take us decades to sort out. It’s going to take lots of continual small actions by each of us. What we eat, how we travel, what we consume, who we spend our money with, who we pay attention to.

Local Leaders, local Inspiration. Connectedness.

Conscious choices to shape things we will not see.

What I’m Wondering.

Over the last six months, I’ve learned a huge amount about the simple power of conversation for it’s own sake. Curiosity about what’s going on and how others see it. I’ve learned about the generosity and genius of others when we remove money from the equation, as well as the potentially destructive, distractive, constrictive power of pointless goals for questionable ends. The proverbial moving of deckchairs on the Titanic.

How do we scale these sort of generous, generative conversations? They matter. They are the seeds of the change we need to see.

We’re going to work on that over at Originize over the next few months.

Have a great week.

Published by Richard H Merrick

Complexity and volatility create enormous opportunities for those willing to go beyond the boundaries of "business as usual" to explore the edges of their business. I am an entrepreneur, a coach, a creative thinker, and above all, an explorer of possibility.

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