This first step is what I call the great nudge. This is the moment where you make a decision, based on an experience, that suddenly wakes you up to sustainability not being the whole story. Or perhaps it was simply a thought that got louder and louder. Whatever your experience was, you made a decision. That nudge was your intuition. And now you are here, deciding how to transition beyond sustainability to being a regenerative business.
The steps you will take after this moment of decision will come in the order for which you are ready, but I’ve listed all twelve strategy points that you will need to embrace. While there is no direct order, I can offer these six guidelines to help you based on my own 25-year journey across four different sustainable companies since 1998.
- Imperfection is beautiful and there is no objective finish line. Regeneration is a circular and fluid journey so be proud of each milestone.
- You must address all these stages to be fully regenerative but each milestone can be celebrated in itself. You are doing great by just being on the path.
- It’s okay to get frustrated and not understand things, in fact, I would encourage the support step for that, it’s a great accelerator.
- Share your journey, it will help a lot of people and leaving more than you take is inherent to the nature of regeneration.
- There is no ‘right’ order. Your next step will present itself to you when you are ready. Every step will reveal itself as interconnected as you travel.
- Our survival is at stake so be generous and gentle with your time and experiences. All of us giving this a go is more important than perfection right now.
Here are the twelves steps you will face on your regenerative journey. I’ve included a reflective question at the end short description. Just remember, they are in no particular order, it’s okay to find them when you are ready.
- Something nudges you and you set out on a journey. Use your intuition or a supported conversation to learn your next step. Take the time to embrace each learning based on your own individual capacity. Trust you are exactly where you need to be right now and the next step will become clear soon. What was your nudge, or the intuitive moment that set you on this path?
- Vision and Creativity: This is where you imagine a different future and new paradigm. The writers, filmmakers, artists, marketers and your own vision boards will help create a new narrative. The vision and your story is the first step in your strategy. What inspiring person or place would ignite your creativity?
- Support and Inspiration: It is vital to put yourself in a community of like-minded travellers as this will accelerate your personal and business transformation. You can employ professional coaching support or you can seek regenerative authors and podcasts to accelerate your learning. Who comes to mind that you could call and have a conversation about regeneration with? It may be a mentor, a coach, a friend, a healer, a teacher, an author, a community, or a transformational group experience. What or who inspires you right now?
- Wellbeing: This is where you take the time to schedule self-care at the heart of your week. Well-being is more than personal, it operates in all our relationships, in our workplaces and all community areas. We must all protect our time, our health, our minds and our hearts for this journey. Being busy and working hard is not the journey anymore. What do you need to protect right now to increase your wellbeing?
- Earth Tenders: Farming has led the way with regeneration, in fact, we owe them for the term itself. Find a way to connect with soil, woodlands, gardens, bush regeneration and other nutritious ecosystems that need tending. Visit farms that are run as agroforestry, organic farming or regenerative farming. Understanding the ground-up approach in action and the multiple levels of nutrition that our land provides us with is fundamental to regeneration. Leaders in rewilding and environmental stewardship of any kind must be learned in action, not theory. If you have a business with physical products, then you will be facing this one at Seek out a connection with some form of earth tending as part of your journey.
- Thought leaders: Academics such as Peter Hawkins, Carol Sandford, Laura Storm, Giles Hutchins, Rachel Carson, Paul Hawken, and Thomas Berry are a few of the thought leaders in recent decades that talk about regeneration from different viewpoints. Thought is the place we process our experiences and feelings. What one film, podcast or book can you embrace to understand the language of regeneration?
- Health: When we give attention to our nutrition, diet and exercise we have the energy and vitality to be fully present on a regenerative journey. When you feel healthy, it is easy to make good decisions about your work and income. Lack of health holds us back in life. What one thing could you begin tomorrow that would improve your health?
- Healing: There are multiple levels of healing you will face. The personal, your community, all relationships, our global unity, your family, your business, and our environment. The transformational insights are essential to allow you to let go of the past and move into a new paradigm future with the flow. There is meditation, visualisation or prayer to be embraced on this journey to ignite our connection to the non-tangible. This might sound a little overwhelming or not your thing. Stay open to what works for you. What do you need to heal next?
- Indigenous Guidance: Mother Earth is a term we take for granted. Remember, it is a name been given to us from Indigenous cultures. Inherently interconnected to land, family, kinship and community, indigenous leaders have bravely continued to teach us about universal belonging despite the message falling on our collective, deaf ears for centuries. What else have we not been listening to? The foundation of regeneration is that we are interconnected. Let us not forget our first teachers of the language and understanding of interconnection. It is a universal story, and we are finally listening. Can you seek a connection with indigenous elders?
- Diversity: We all prosper when we feel heard, acknowledged and appreciated. When we prioritise our awareness and inclusiveness of gender, race, ethnicity, ability and socio-economic background, no one gets left behind which is fundamental in regeneration. What action could you take to be more inclusive in your current business?
- Prosperity: When we talk about prosperity and resource sharing, it releases the focus on money which has been the only measure of success in the past. If we begin to think of prosperity as generosity and care in a community sense rather than as an individual, we can begin to shift our focus to the true meaning of abundance for all. What local community action could you take to enhance life for your neighbours?
- Nature: All plants, geography, animals, and humans are interconnected. So when it comes to manufacturing and supply chains, this can be a huge challenge but you only need the will to get started. We have one ecosystem on one planet that needs to love, support, and survive together. Once you know that every action, thought or feeling in your business has a direct impact on all physical and non-physical energies, you have embraced regeneration. Nature is the giver of life, breath, oxygen, pleasure, joy and quiet. Nature gives us food, water, and shelter. Nature is the foundation of all life. Nature has seasons that show us that there is a time to thrive, a time to be quiet, a time to transform and a time to grow. When we ebb and flow with the natural seasons we experience prosperity and balance for all. What is your favourite place in nature to visit?
Exploring each strategy will open up the vital conversations of human rights, modern slavery, environmental governance, net-zero and more. It all fits into the regenerative picture. Each conversation above will ensure this is uncovered in every part of your regenerative business from your strategy and vision to your supply chain.
You will have a journey that is uniquely you and no topic will be left behind. That is the nature of regeneration, we are all-inclusive in a simple, effortless way. What will your journey and focus be?
When I help people create regenerative strategies, we touch on some of all of these areas. Then as you would have already gathered, each subject has its own novel-length ambiguities, nuances and tributaries. That’s the fun stuff for me, it’s also your unique story of change to unravel. Every business has its unique pivot point dependent on size, industry, staffing, service and product. There are so many factors that determine your starting point but try number two above with a team you trust when you are ready. Vision and Creativity is the first step in an amazing business strategy. That is one thing we will bring with us from the old paradigm, starting with your vision and your story. It will take you a long way on this regenerative journey.