Finding the Right Words
What are we all about is a question any business at some stage asks itself. River Valley is no exception. In fact, we have asked this very question about what and why many times.
While this is not the BIG meaning of life question, it is most certainly something that any of us, occasionally, in any kind of business, need to be addressing.
If you are anything like me, you have over the years, read many management books, and started but not finished reading many more. You have filled out various templates (then quietly filed them away in a drawer or folder to never see the light of day again). You have gone on courses, and come home full of ideas on how you are going to transform everything, then met a wave of disinterest and inertia. Quickly the enthusiasm for huge change dies. Dealing with everyday problems again takes centre stage.
Occasionally you may have become motivated by reading a biography of either someone or an organisation that you admire. These people may appear to have achieved extraordinary feats. And yet, your mind tells you, you can never achieve anything like what that person or group have.
Meanwhile, the pile of forgotten strategies, business plans, goals, and business visions grows steadily higher, until one day you either burn or delete the lot of them. You do it without remorse and realise just how liberating it can be.
And yet, there is still a niggle in the back of your mind.
The niggle is, surely you can put something down that truly does encapsulate what your business is all about and captures the reality of what you are doing and want to achieve. But what is the mechanism to achieve this?
It was quite by accident, that with my interest in regenerative systems that I came upon the work of Alan Savory.
Alan Savory is a somewhat controversial figure in many circles, especially in agriculture. However, one thing he has done, with his wife, Jody Butterfield and others, is develop the concept of Holistic Management.
Holistic Management is a framework for decision making that seeks to integrate ecological, social and economic concerns.
What excited me, and still does excite me about Holistic Management, is that it truly is a living process. It also strongly appeals to me with its emphasis on looking at all the things that can affect the way you operate and could impact any of your decisions. I also like the fact, that though originally written for a land base type of operation, it is also applicable to any business or endeavour.
In a nutshell, it gives context to what, why and how.
If you are interested in finding out more about this system, you could purchase the book, Holistic Management, or find a summary online. The book is big, and not an ultra-easy read. However, it is also available in an audible version, which combined with a summary, maybe easier.
What Did We Get Out Of Going Down The Holistic Management Way?
For a while, we had struggled with defining a purpose for what we were doing. A purpose that we could write down as a simple statement, but at the same time held within its few words the things that we were passionate about and expressed our world view.
These few words are called, in Holistic Management, “The Statement of Purpose”.
These are our words.
“Our purpose is to be a regenerative business that benefits the land, nature, family and staff, our local community, and our customers.”
Of course, there is more to Holistic Management than a Statement of Purpose, but it is a great starting point and has certainly helped us. And it is not gathering dust or awaiting deletion!