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Home > Green News > Editorials

Survival Strategy for Your Family

Green Ambassadors examine the time to be the grown-up in the family of humankind...

Find green business solutions
green  triple bottom line strategy Why is green important? I spoke with a group of youth leaders with "Green Ambassadors" recently and my message centered around the changes that are happening in the media -- and how our expectations of scale and scope are being transformed. Part of this change has to do with the new global awareness movement, and the green movement is part of that same shift in technology, global discussion and global brother- and sisterhood.

The green movement has not been thrust upon business -- people in business are driving it. And that movement has been based on WIIFM -- "What's In It For Me." A bit long term at times...but it's still WIIFM!

The population is escalating and business has been mono-focused on profits until recently. Strategists had not recognized that the escalating population was putting the entire planetary system of raw materials and life support at risk. Now they do. And these leaders are struggling to cope with the potential consequences that will follow when a lifestyle of waste and abundance is beamed to the 6 billion people around the world (and growing). StarTrek's easy "Beam me aboard" strategy is taking on a whole new meaning and dimension.

If society is "man writ large" -- we might want to consider how family leaders change course when excess outgo vs. inflow looms in their personal world. We cut back. We find simpler ways to live. We think about survival as a family. We take creative action.

And survival is not seen as a negative -- it's a highly valued leadership strategy. It's even comforting to be doing something to help!

Yet in today's global discussion, is cutting back heard as a strategy?

When my husband worked for one of the largest global companies I can remember that every year during the first and third quarters, the edict went out that it was time to "count the paperclips". They cut back. They bought only what was necessary and they made every employee conscious of the business cycles that affected their community survival. Did the customers know? I doubt it. But the "family members" did!

Today, in our growing cultural system, the natural resources scenario is changing. Every quarter gets tighter. We're short on copper. Short on oil. Short on water. Not just during the first and third quarters.

Our conversation might benefit from some old-fashioned horse sense. Some survival strategizing. That's what the "triple bottom line" is about.

The "triple bottom line" focuses on:

  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Contributing to society and communities
  • Creating economic value
...and I agree with these laudable goals. But a fourth might need to be added.
  • Survival.

And just so we don't take too narrow a focus -- the responsibility is big enough to include everyone.

employees
customers
shareholders
neighbors
suppliers
governance
earth

We all need to participate in the survival strategy that will have to support all of us -- 6 billion and growing.

There is hope. But it's based on thinking like a family. We either survive together or we fail together. We're all in this together and it takes extra "counting the paperclips" awareness by everyone to get through these tough times.

We don't really know how tough they could become. Numbers and weather forecasts don't tell the whole story. And...the numbers aren't in yet. We just have common sense, experience and our sense of survival to guide us.

As one of the adults in this family, what is your gut telling you to do?

Carolyn
Editor/Mom



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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