3 Vital Questions for Transformative Results:  David Emerald Womeldorff

3 Vital Questions for Transformative Results: David Emerald Womeldorff

3 Vital Questions for Transformative Results:  David Emerald 

David has followed up his wildly popular and super sticky book, The Power of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic with 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama.  When we answer these questions and re-orient our perspective, we become more resilient and more likely to create the results we desire.

Season  2  |  Episode 13   | May 11, 2020

Show Notes

“All leadership really starts with self-leadership and the way that we lead our own lives has everything to do with the quality of leadership that we bring to our organizations, frankly our families, our communities, our school system, etc.”

David Emerald Womeldorff

Energy Follows Attention

We’re built for survival.  Our default mode is to scan for danger and then react.  If we want to create a wonderful life and build great places to work, then we have to move past problem-solving.  We have to build habits that support designing futures rather than reacting to problems.  David Emerald’s 3 Vital Questions takes our focus from a problem to an outcome orientation.

Highlights from the Interview

These excerpts have been edited for context.

[07:10]  …The first vital question is, Where are you putting your focus? The subtext to that is, are you focusing on problems, or are you focusing on outcomes? What informs that question is an organizing framework that I call FISBE. FISBE is an acronym that stands for Focus, Inner State and BEhavior. The idea is that what we focus on engages some emotional response. That inner state that then drives our behavior. 

[17:16] …Vital Question Two is, How are you relating? How are you relating to others? How are you relating to your experience? And how are you relating to yourself? Are you relating in ways that produce, or perpetuate drama? Or are you relating in ways that empower others and yourself to be more resourceful, resilient and innovative?

If our orientation is problem-focused, fear-based and reactive in nature, that creates the environment and the conditions for the Dreaded Drama Triangle, or DDT, which I’ll explain in more detail in just a moment. I also want to say that if we can consciously choose to operate as much as possible out of that Outcome Orientation, where we’re focused on what we care about, that our inner state is more passion-based and we’re taking creative action, that creates the conditions for a different set of relationship roles and dynamics that we call TED or The Empowerment Dynamic.

[31:29]: What actions are you taking? Are you merely reacting to the problems of the moment, or are you taking creative and generative action, including the solving of problems in service to outcomes? Dynamic tension informs the Third Vital Question.

[32:42]: The three basic steps of dynamic tension are first and foremost,  focus on the outcome and to be as clear as we can on the outcome, that the outcome can sometimes be clear and concrete, other times it may be more vague and directional.

Then the second step is to step back and tell the truth about, what’s my current reality in relation to the outcome? That engages a tension between what we want and what we’re currently experiencing.

The third piece of dynamic tension is to then determine and take baby steps that move from our current reality toward our envisioned outcome. Baby steps to me are things that as an individual, or team, we can choose to do that tend to be short-term and in organizational terms. LeeAnn, it could be as simple as, ‘I need to have a conversation’, or ‘we need to go gather this information’. It’s just whenever the next little step is, that’s going to help us move toward and/or get clearer about the outcome.

More Links from this Episode

Download the Transcript

3 Vital Questions website

The Power of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic

3 Vital Questions:Transforming Workplace Drama

David Emerald

Donna Zajonc

Stephen Karpman’s Drama Triangle

Bob Anderson

The Leadership Circle Profile

Robert Fritz:  Structural Tension

Stagen

 

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

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Boot Up Your Inner Game:  Bob Anderson

Boot Up Your Inner Game: Bob Anderson

Boot Up Your Inner Game:  Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson has dedicated his career to exploring the intersections between leadership and personal mastery, and between competence and consciousness. Over the past 35 years, he has helped leaders gain deep, personal insight into their creative competencies that promote effective leadership, and their reactive tendencies that limit it. He is the creator of The Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 leadership assessment tool that provides integrated feedback in multiple domains across the Creative and Reactive categories.

In our conversation, we focus on recent findings based on qualitative data provided by senior leaders in large, complex organizations.

Season  2  |  Episode 12   | April 8, 2020

Show Notes

“The outer game boots up on a more mature inner game.”

Bob Anderson

Founder + Chairman; The Leadership Circle

The Times Call for Exemplary Leadership

Bob and I spoke on February 21, 2020.  The date is significant because the first case of community-spread novel coronavirus had not yet been detected in the U.S.  Today the U.S., as well as much of the globe, is in some sort of lockdown to prevent its spread.  Thousands of lives have been lost to the pandemic. The lack of mention of Covid-19 seems tone-deaf today, as managing the spread and responding to the health and economic crises are all-consuming for many.

Bob has spent the past few decades understanding what characteristics indicate a leaders’ ability to deal effectively with the increasingly complex situations they’re presented with.  Our current, unfortunate predicament illustrates, even more, the need for agile, innovative and visionary leadership.

Highlights about Creative Leadership from the Interview

These excerpts have been edited for context.

[09:51]  … The Creative half is run out of passion and purpose and a vision, and are about bringing into being what I care about and becoming who I most desire to be as a leader. The Creative half is about bringing into being. The Reactive half is about responding to problems, fears and threats. There will always be problems, fears and threats, but when we make up that it’s too dangerous to speak up in the room or if I always have to prove how smart I am or if I always have to be in control, that has liabilities.

[11:30] … there are three basic Reactive strategies:

  • One, we play too small. We play careful and cautious. We seek harmony over the kind of conflict that often ensues when we really put forth what we’re after as a leader; we that call Complying.
  • The other is Controlling,  where we’re overly driven to get results usually over the top of people. Results over people.
  • Then there’s Protecting, …which includes Arrogance. With arrogance, we’re highly rational and we have a vested interest in proving to people how brilliant we are.

Underlying any one of those strategies goes right to the core of how we form our identity and the core operating beliefs and assumptions that define us. The basic equation under any Reactive strategy is, my worth is in your hands. Somehow you define me. How you see me is vitally important to how I see me. And I maintain that in certain ways: I’m the one who always gets results, or I’m the one who is nice and agreeable, or I’m the one who’s super-rational and brilliant. This defines me.

Well, any situation which threatens, that puts us under pressure and we tend to react.

[17:26]: The highly effective, and Creative leaders had a very different set of strengths. They had all the other strengths in equal measure: technical strengths, domain knowledge, etc., but they excelled at people, people, people and people. People, teams, developing people, listening, approachable. Six out of the top 10 most commented-on strengths for the highly effective Creative leader group had to do with people and teams and their ability to develop people and lead them well.

The next set of strengths was purpose, vision and authenticity, and that rounded out the top 10 list of the most effective leaders. Yes, they have their technical skills and their intellect and brilliance. You have to have that to play. That’s table stakes. It doesn’t define leadership, and it doesn’t scale if you’re trying to run your leadership through your own creative brilliance. It scales when you can develop that in others.

The top 10 Creative competencies, according to write-in comments on the Leadership Circle Profile 360:

[20:48]: Number one: Strong People Skills. 79% of leaders had three or more comments from their raters on good with people – 79%. Reactive leaders rated only 28% good with people. That just sums it up. If you look at the list, Strong People Skills, Visionary, Team Builder, Personable/Approachable, Leads by Example. That’s authenticity and integrity, right? Passion & Drive, that’s purpose. Good Listener, Develops People, Empowers People, Positive Attitude. That’s the top 10 list.

[22:51] You’ve got to work the inner game and the outer game. The outer-game boots up on a more mature inner game. As you start to  take in feedback and work it,  see how you’re showing up and the impact you’re having, you can get underneath the feedback and say, “Well, what’s the story I’m making up or the set of assumptions that running that pattern?” That frees up a lot of space for the stuff that you’re trying to create. That’s one half the inner game. The other half of the inner game is getting really clear about what you’re trying to create, why it matters, what kind of behaviors you need to get better at in order to really have the impact you want to have as a leader.

As you focus on what you want, you move toward it. As you unhook from old patterns, you move towards even more, in an accelerated rate, what you want.  You work both ends of that spectrum. That is what the Leadership Circle Profile was designed to facilitate because you’re going to have feedback on both ends of that spectrum.

[27:16]  We think that the complexity of today’s business environment, VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, all of those things – the turbulence and perturbation and disruption that we’re always in now, require a Creative mindset or higher. You can’t create the kind of agile, adaptive, innovative, engaged workplaces that we are trying to construct in order to thrive in a VUCA world. You literally can’t create those cultures and systems and structures from a Reactive leadership mindset. They won’t boot up.

More Links from this Episode

Download Practices to Boot Up Your Inner Game

Download the Transcript

VUCA

Bob Kegan

Socialized and Self-Authoring mindsets

Covey

 

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

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Boot Up Your Inner Game:  Bob Anderson

Alexander McCobin: Conscious Capitalism – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Alexander McCobin:  Conscious Capitalism – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

2020 Conference Discount

April 14 – 16, 2020

Get $100 off your 2020 Annual Conference Registration with code CCAC20RISE

Conscious capitalism is a term, a movement and the name of the non-profit organization, Conscious Capitalism, Inc. (CCI), whose role it is to be the foundation of the movement. CCI brings business leaders together to share best practices for implementing the ideals of conscious capitalism.

Aspects of conscious capitalism have been around for decades. As we discuss in the interview, Conscious Capitalism provides an organizing principle for many practices that put humans at the center of the business ecosystem.  During our conversation, Alexander passionately describes the opportunities,  challenges and future of Conscious Capitalism.

Season  2  |  Episode 11   |   March 3, 2020

Show Notes

“By delivering a genuine, no-baloney product for our guests and environment for our employees to work in, we then could deliver for our shareholders…  Starting from that place of authenticity and caring profoundly about the lives of other people leads to better financial results because of the way the economy and capitalism works.”

Ron Shaich

CEO and Founder, Panera Bread

Can We Make Conscious Capitalism Redundant?

That’s the long term goal.

The general opinion of capitalism and of the for-profit business world is one of greed and scarcity, a winner-take-all mindset,  and overpaid executives at the expense of underpaid and under-insured employees (just listen to the 2020 election rhetoric!).  While that opinion has been earned, there is a movement underway that is gaining support from capitalist business leaders across the globe to change that.

Alexander McCobin is CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., an organization founded by successful corporate CEOs and founders who are committed to shepherding in a new way of running businesses.  As Alexander says in the interview, it’s a Copernican Revolution, putting humans at the center of business rather than profits.  And the good news is that it’s not an either-or choice.  As Ron Shaich said in the quote, above, caring profoundly about employees and customers leads to better (and long-term) results!

Stand-out Quotes from My Interview With Alexander

[10:29]“It’s about creating a foundation for people to build the movement the way they want to…We need to let a thousand flowers bloom if we’re going to achieve our long term goal, which is for Conscious Capitalism to become redundant.” 

[00:11:17] “The times are changing. This is an idea whose time has come, finally. A decade ago, when this idea was being kicked around and introduced to conferences and boardrooms, it was being laughed out of those spaces. It wasn’t taken seriously. The initial job of Conscious Capitalism Inc. and even the reason for writing the book was to make the case for this, to change people’s minds, because everyone thought business is just about maximizing profit, serving the shareholders, and everyone and everything else is serving that end.”

[00:12:35] “The Business Roundtable is a group of 190, 200 or so CEOs of the largest companies in the United States. We’re talking everyone from J.P. Morgan, to Amazon, and if you know the name of the company and it’s a Fortune 100, it’s probably in there. In 1997, they adopted a statement on the purpose of the corporation being to serve shareholder interests. That this is the reason they exist.

Last year they changed that. They said that the purpose of the corporation is to serve a higher purpose and to take care of all their stakeholders. They basically took the conscious capitalist’s credo, reworded and adopted themselves, and that is tremendously exciting because it shows these principles and ideas are becoming well-accepted and these are CEOs making a commitment that this is how they’re going to run their businesses going forward that they can now be held accountable to. If they’re not living up to it, we are able to say, “You made this pledge. We’re going to hold you to it and we’re ready to help you accomplish it too.”

[00:16:23] “…Very explicitly, when we look at the businesses that we think we can have the greatest impact with who are most likely to adopt conscious capitalism not just in their rhetoric, but in their actions as well, it’s mid-market businesses. In particular, private and family-owned businesses, either because they’re still founder-driven who has the moral authority to implement changes like this, or they still remember the values they were rooted in from the very beginning and they want to maintain them as they grow. We not only see these private and family midmarket businesses getting involved with this already, but we are very proactively trying to work with more of them because they want to grow.”

[00:22:29]: “That is part of the stakeholder model. We need businesses to be at the forefront of addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation conservation. Business has the greatest impact in these areas and it has the greatest opportunity to innovate and figure out what the solution is, because we’re not there yet and it’s not going to come from committee. It’s not going to come from bureaucracy. It’s going to come from businesses solving those problems themselves and they need to take that on.”

A Stakeholder Economy is Central to Conscious Capitalism

Outside of my conversation with Alexander, I’m collecting stories and artifacts about this shift to a long-term focus and the complexities associated with it.  We’ve built financial, accountability and status systems based on the Miltonian idea that profit is king.  This philosophy is not going to be easy to undo.  And it shouldn’t be completely undone!

Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest money management firm, publishes an Annual Letter to CEOs.  His urgency regarding climate change is increasing.  His letter this year essentially states that BlackRock will be allocating more capital that mitigates climate risk and voting against corporate managers who aren’t making progress on fighting the climate crisis.

Larry Fink’s 2020 Letter

The New York Times’ podcast The Daily, published these episodes about the Business Roundtable’s Commitment and Larry Fink’s 2020 Letter:

The Daily:  Can Corporations Stop Climate Change? (January 2020)

What American CEOs are Worried About (August 2019)

More Links from this Episode

Download the full transcript (full of valuable links!)

Conscious Capitalism Philosophy

Find Your Local Chapter

Annual Conference (April each year)

CEO Summit (October each year)

Conscious Capitalism Blog

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

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Awe + Art + Observation:  Bonnie Pitman

Awe + Art + Observation: Bonnie Pitman

Awe + Art + Observation:  Bonnie Pitman

Bonnie Pitman shares how Doing Something New inspires us to make each day extraordinary.  Her Power of Observation Framework instructs us on the critical steps for moving from the first glance to making new meaning of our observations. She is both delightful and incredibly grounded in her approach to appreciating the banal and sublime.

Season  1  |  Episode 10   |   February 11, 2020

Show Notes

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert Szen-Gyorgi

1937 Nobel Laureate

 

Make Everyday Extraordinary

Awe and wonder are getting a lot of attention these days because of what happens in our brain when we’re in these states of mind. Inspiration and generosity spike and we feel more connected to the world around us.  And as a result, stress and rumination decrease*.  Overall wellbeing is amplified.  The great news is that we can experience awe and wonder as part of our daily life – we just have to become more aware of what is already in our midst.

Bonnie Pitman, with her long and distinguished history in the world of art, developed two foundational practices that support the onboarding of these states in response to a life-changing illness that she continues to navigate.  She shares how Doing Something New inspires us to make each day extraordinary.  Her Power of Observation Framework instructs us on the critical steps for moving from the first glance to making new meaning of our observations. She is both delightful and incredibly grounded in her approach to appreciating the banal and sublime.

*Source:  What Awe Looks Like in Your Brain

Stand-out Quotes from My Interview With Bonnie

[14:04]“Do Something New is about having the courage to take a moment and really celebrate it. And finding a way … to move beyond simply seeing and looking to really deep observation, or deep listening. It’s about going further than I normally would.” 

[16:06] “I’ve discovered that one of the really important things, which we’ve been talking about, comes from my meditation practice:  the power of staying in the moment and just seeing things in new ways, or seeing the world in new ways.  To slow down and really invest in those moments and to – just like when you’re meditating – focus on your breathing, focus on the people or the place”

[22:33] “…80% of the way you acquire information is through visual images. Particularly important for physicians is that ability to see if a patient over the days that they are seeing them in the hospital, or in their clinics is evolving in a positive way, or a negative way. That need to be able to look quickly and observe quickly and get solid information, to be able to remember it is something that’s very important for them.”

[ 25:56 ] “Those tangible, experiential moments transform a two-dimensional experience into memory in your brain.  Now your hippocampus – your whole limbic system – is working in a different way and at a higher level to codify this memory as one you’re going to hold on to.”

the Do Something New™ practice

Take a few minutes of an ordinary day and make it extraordinary through:

  1. New places
  2. New people
  3. New experiences
  4. New experiences with old friends in new ways
  5. New big things & new little things
  6. New flavors of ice cream are ok!
  7. Cannot be work or medical
  8. Cannot carry forward to the next day

Follow Bonnie Doing Something New on Instagram!

The Power of Observation Framework™

ScanningTaking a first look

AttendingFocusing intentionally over time

ConnectingSeeking and processing information to make new connections

TransformingEngaging deeply and creating a personal response

Note:  Download the full Power of Observation Framework here

More Links

Download the full transcript

Bonnie Pitman Instagram

DMA – Speechless:  Different by Design

What Awe Looks Like in Your Brain – Greater Good Magazine

Videos: Art and Medicine

Nasher Sculpture Center talks on Art and Health:

Can You Train Your Brain to Work Better? Verify – WFAA

Be Well Lead Well® Pulse Assessment

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

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The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work: Drew Clancy

The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work: Drew Clancy

The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work:  Drew Clancy, President of PCI

Drew Clancy, President of Publishing Concepts (PCI), is a self-proclaimed ‘cultural enthusiast’.  His commitment to the core elements of culture has resulted in year-over-year growth and consistent recognition as a Best Place to Work.  As a third-generation leader, he has brought this near 100year-old family business solidly into the 21st Century through innovation and servant leadership. 

Season 1   |   Episode 09   |   November 12, 2019

Show Notes

 

We inspire dreams and transform lives

PCI’s Purpose

 

A Successful Third-Generation Family Business

Drew Clancy is President of PCI, a midsize, third-generation family business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  In 2021 they will celebrate 100 years in operation, and like any company that has weathered that much time, they’ve experienced iterations and evolutions. In 1982, Jack Clancy, Drew’s father, breathed new life into the company and gave it a new name: Publishing Concepts, now best known as PCI.  They’re in the business of “helping college, university, and association clients engage their alumni and membership and raise money in order to fulfill their mission of educating our nation’s future leaders”.

Jack Clancy was a ‘dynamo’, as Drew describes in the interview and embodied many first-generation and founder qualities: charisma, high energy, generosity and a preponderance for making all the decisions, and generally keeping tight reigns on the business. These characteristics are needed at start-up but will cripple the business over the long-term.  Note:  PwC has published a very interesting survey on family businesses.  A short video summary can be found here.  

Drew entered the picture in 1995 after his father suffered a heart attack and could no longer bring his formidable energy and presence to the business.  Drew recognized the talent and capacity of the team and brought his own unique approach to leading and managing to PCI.  Essentially, he navigated the company past the ‘founder’s trap’ as described by Dr. Ichak Adizes, creator of the Adizes Corporate Lifecycle, and steered PCI toward sustainability.  And it’s working – PCI continues excellent financial performance, targeting $50M in revenue this year, doubling 2016’s performance. As you hear in the interview, Drew is a self-described “workplace culture enthusiast” and is so passionate about this that he invites anyone to reach out to him for a conversation.

Organizational Culture as a Business Strategy

We spent the bulk of our time discussing Drew’s passion: workplace culture.  He is a strong believer in Servant Leadership and sees creating a thriving workplace as a foundational business strategy.  His orientation is paying off:  PCI has appeared on both Dallas Morning News 100 Best Places to Work and Best Companies to Work for in Texas, nabbing first place in 2015 & 2016.  Even with these accolades, he doesn’t take culture for granted, claiming “you have to work for it every day”.

They have a term for the central elements of their culture, theFIVE:

  • 5 Elements of the core ideology: Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Commitment
  • 5 Values: Excellence, Unlock Human Potential, Act with Integrity, Innovate a Culture of Relationships & Fun, Lead with a Servant’s Heart

Structure Will Set You Free:  Rhythms, Rigor and Ritual

A best-place-to-work culture will not happen by wishing for it.  It won’t even happen if you articulate your core ideology (Jim Collins’ term for Purpose, Vision and Values) and hang posters throughout the workspace.  You have to take action.

Drew is keen on the idea that “structure sets you free”. Liberating structures are created to channel individual or group energy toward a specific goal.  James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, guides individuals to make tiny shifts in daily behaviors that will lead to big results.

At the organizational level,  leaders use liberating structures by setting rhythmic meetings with appropriate agendas to guide actions and increase engagement. Drew outlines the meeting rhythm at PCI that has helped create their award-winning cultural.

Drew’s morning ritual:

Like many successful leaders, Drew has a rigorous morning ritual that he’s been practicing for seven or eight years now.  Last year, he led a book discussion at PCI on The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod, which helped him fine-tune his own routine (this is also an example of his commitment to Unlocking Human Potential as an organizational value). Here’s his practice:

  • Wake at 5:45a or 6:00a
  • Exercise – push-ups or sit-ups
  • Meditate for 10 – 20 minutes
  • Read the Bible & pray
  • Journal – writing about the 10 personal goals he sets each year

PCI’s Organizational Rhythm:

“Try a lot of things and keep what works”.  This is the advice Drew gleaned from Jim Collins’ epic book, Built to Last.  Here’s what is working for PCI now:

  • Annual Planning – Yearly
  • Monthly Extended Leadership Meeting – Trail Blazers meeting for anyone leading a team, project, product, client relationship, etc. This meeting is focused on growth and learning.
  • Weekly – CEO Council.  This is an L-10 meeting (Level 10 from EOS)
  • Daily Huddle – 10 minutes at 8:30a, called the 10@8:30. See PCI’s agenda here

These meetings share critical information such as metrics (transparency is key), updates, and progress and also keep team members focused on ‘theFIVE’

Helpful Articles:  Discipline Sets You Free; The Right Meeting Rhythm Will Set You Free; CEO’s Roadmap to Alignment

Book:  The Power of Liberating Structures

Courage:  The Final Element

Courage is the third element for creating an enduring culture.  There are times in the life of a leader when decisions aren’t just tough, they may even have a short term negative impact – financially or otherwise.  The leader has to choose whether to take the high road and stay true to the stated values of the company or let something slip by.  These are known as leadership moments and they are opportunities to embody the values that have been espoused.  Actions speak much louder than words.  Which reminds me of the quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:  Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.

Drew Clancy’s actions SHOUT his commitment to the culture at PCI.

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

 

Download the Transcript

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Doing Well + Doing Good: Lauren Clarke and Turn Compost

Doing Well + Doing Good: Lauren Clarke and Turn Compost

Doing Well + Doing Good:  Lauren Clarke & Turn Compost

Lauren Clarke is the founder of Turn Compost, a wildly successful social enterprise focused on reducing food waste and improving how we utilize our urban environment.  She shares alarming and exciting statistics about food waste and the blooming food waste industry.  She also gives essential advice to anyone with the vision of starting a social enterprise.

Episode 8   |   October 24, 2019

Show Notes

My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society. 

Andrew Weil

I remember the delight I felt the first time I saw a post about Turn Compost by Bonton Farms on Instagram.  It was a colorful photo of livestock enjoying food scraps.  The vegetable scraps were bountiful and the livestock looked very satisfied.  It was very pastoral.  I had the sense that a cycle was not just being completed – it was being amplified and given new life.

A Social Enterprise Model

Turn Compost is a Social Enterprise, or Social Impact business.  In short, it’s a business that does good by addressing a social or environmental problem AND it does well by being financially self-sustaining.  Social Enterprises and Social Impact businesses may be non- or for-profit.  Turn is a for profit business.  [10:43]

The Business of Food Waste

Food Waste is a big problem in the U.S.  It makes up about 40% of our landfills and if it were a country, would be the third-largest emitter of methane gas behind the U.S.  and China. [02:38]  See these interesting statistics collected by Turn on their website.

Tackling food wastage can be a 2.5 trillion market opportunity for business according to an article by CNBC .

Turn is a private, organic waste pickup subscription service with both doorstep and drop off services. It’s a very innovate model! [05:35]

Organic waste is processed three different ways:  it’s donated to local farms and gardens, turned into small amounts of compost and delivered back to members, and finally they partner with commercial composting facilities for other post-consumer waste. [07:51]

Bonton Farms and Farmers Assisting Returning Military (F.A.R.M.) are examples of two local farms that receive Turn donations.

The City of Dallas does not currently compost (yet!); you can learn more about Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental Climate Action Plan and give input at their website.  [11.56]

The Vision:  Getting Reconnected With Food

The Atlantic had an article a few years back that explains the quote, “Calories are cheap and people are picky”. The article focuses on why we waste so much food. [13:50]

There’s a cost for us with all the innovations in food delivery:  it’s getting us further disconnected from the source.  We aren’t experiencing the growth cycles, the work that goes into food production and the satisfaction of providing for ourselves.  [15:05]

Horticultural Therapy is a term being used for the therapeutic effects of gardening.  [18:25]  Bonton Farms, mentioned above, sees farming as a way to “redefine a community”.  CNN ran a story about healing with horticultural therapy.

Lauren gives some advice on starting a social impact business:  [20:33]

  • make sure it’s financially sustainable now and has future growth potential
  • assemble an advisory council of experts from various industries who will “get in your face” and tell you the truth
  • be open to listening to the advice

A Deeper Purpose

Lauren’s big WHY –  the ultimate reason she started Turn:

You know I care about my children, but I care about other children and children in all sorts of communities, wealthy and poor, and their connection with food and their understanding of it…it’s very concerning that there are children and families who are struggling to put food on their tables. [25:08]

Lauren Clarke is an exemplary leader and truly someone who is elevating her part of the world.

Download the transcript 

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