The Language of Violence

The Language of Violence

“You’ll smash it.”  “You’re making a killing“.  “Shoot over an email”.  “Find your target market”.  “Just keep banging it out”.  

How often in business & life do we use the language of violence?

It might seem silly, but the way we work matters – and that includes our choice of words.

The way we speak is reflective of the way we think, the way we feel, the conscious & unconscious ways with which we view & make sense of the world.

If our language of celebration is reflective of destruction – you’re killing it, you smashed it, you owned it, we crushed it – what does that say about visions of success? Must it always come with a cost to someone else?

If our language of operations is reflective of pain – shoot an email, target this audience, find the right execution – what does this say about our work? Is it a place of service or a place of conquer?

The same applies to activism. Words like struggle, resist, strike, fight; how are they then reflected in our approach & embodiment of work? 

What would it be like to step beyond the language of violence? 

To embody the language of beauty, creativity or regeneration instead? 

What phrases would you change?

Business Beyond Capitalism

Business Beyond Capitalism

Business Beyond Capitalism

I saw this sign the other day – People & Planet over Profit. 

As a climate and environmental activist, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. I’m sure it is held high at climate strikes all over the world today as the Global Climate Strike lead by Fridays for Future takes place. 

This message is important – the climate crisis & ecological breakdown we face is a result of unchecked capitalism, its insatiable need for infinite growth on a finite planet.

What does this mean for ethical entrepreneurs though?

How often do we hold ourselves back, afraid that turning a profit or making money is inherently exploitive?  

Afraid that to be flourishing financially – to live a rich & abundant life – is to participate in an unjust system? Struggling with values clashes as we create a more beautiful world, while also existing in the one that we have?

Here’s what we need to understand: business is not the same thing as capitalism. Money is not the same thing as capitalism.  Profit is not inherently exploitive.  

Business is a form of trade, a way of sharing our gifts, talents and interests. A way to be fairly compensated for our labour.   

Capitalism is a social, cultural & economic construct. On the surface, it sounds reasonable: a system in which trade and industry are controlled by private owners, rather than by the state. 

But it’s also based on three fundamental principles:

1.    The pursuit of infinite growth on a finite planet.

2.    The artificial production of scarcity.

3.    The devaluation of living systems to lifeless resources

It’s these principles that lead climate & environmental activists, like myself, to imagine a world beyond capitalism. 

To demand new values, new visions, new systems based on regenerative principles – life giving principles. To place planet & people at the front of what we do.

And here’s the thing: we can do that in business too. 

There is business beyond capitalism.  

And it doesn’t require being broke, scarce or playing small.

There’s a world that allows for our social, financial & ecological flourishing.

But we need to imagine it first.

Can you let yourself feel that world today? 

Can you begin to imagine your Business Beyond Capitalism? 

Regenerative Culture

Regenerative Culture

It may be Autumn here in the southern hemisphere, but this time of year, with Easter, Ramadan, Passover & other holy holidays, is still a time of renewal and resurrection.  Can we also make it a time of regeneration?

The word regenerative is more & more commonplace lately.  

Regenerative leadership.

Regenerative farming.

Regenerative banking.

Regenerative culture.

But what does this mean?

The word regenerate means to renew or restore something, especially after it has been damaged or lost. The act or process of regenerating is regeneration.

You see, our current economy & systems – whether they be agricultural, justice or financial – are devoid of life.  They’re soulless, based on principles that go against the wisdom & soul of nature.  

Take capitalism as an example.  

One of capitalism’s defining features is the pursuit of never-ending growth.  Not only is this not possible on a finite planet, it’s out of alignment with life-giving principles – as Edward Abbey once said, growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. 

We live at a pivotal choice point in time.  Whether it’s war or climate change or widening inequality & democratic instability, our systems are not supportive of life.  

This is why the word regenerative matters so much right now. 

To choose renewal, to choose resurrection, to choose regeneration.

To infuse our environment, systems and culture with life-giving principles.  To mimic nature’s cycles & seasons, base our designs on circularity, embody a new form of leadership – away from the hierarchical, top-down, follow-me approach to one that is emergent, trusting & encompassing of everyone’s skills and offerings.

So I want to ask, what could regenerative culture look like in your life?

What part of your work or community could be infused with the care & energy reflective of regeneration? 

Where can you expand your sense of possibility to allow regenerative wisdom to enter? 

Let me know what you think – I love to hear from you.

Laura x