Travel brings me both joy and shame. I find it transformational but the damage it creates to the planet is a huge price to pay.
Across the world, transport is actually increasing its contribution to climate heating. I want to help lance that carbon carbuncle. But let’s not assume that technology is the solution: imagine that every time someone buys online, somewhere a server farm heats up and a package is despatched in a half-empty van.
Consequently, I have chosen to spend the latest chapter of my life trying to work with the transport value chain. That includes the people who mine, build, power, run and recycle the machines and infrastructure that help others get about. Practically, that might mean trying to promote the uptake of renewable hydrogen or – as a Spanish speaker – a more care-full development of river traffic through the Colombian Amazon.
As businesses, our customers, investors and employees want to know our purpose and feel our passion. They will care about our success if it makes a difference to their worlds too. Then, they will gasp when we stumble and cheer when we pick ourselves up again. Importantly, they will relate to our products and services, and perhaps even fall in love. But the greatest value to our business is learning those lessons and adapting our systems and behaviour so we don’t fall there again.
There are lessons to be transferred across complex challenges, from COVID to Climate change, Black Lives to Brexit. As a group coaching supervisor and media producer, I enjoy working with executives to generate insights into these challenges and promote them to their target audiences. I’m always seeking new ideas to help facilitate creative learning events online. I’m excited by the science of innovation, learning from biology and social change and applying this to generate multiple feedback loops that flip systems.
The Innovator’s Way is a unique coaching and copywriting framework I helped develop to guide these learning journeys and engage our audiences within and outside the business — as well as those voices inside our heads. We use its simple 12 chapters to keep a reflective diary, then create engaging posts, podcasts or videoblogs and integrate into our business strategies and communications plans. The full four-part programme has been recognised by ILM, part of City & Guilds. There, you can work with peer-advisors through all 12 chapters to search for the treasure you seek.
In past lives, I was an international journalist and producer with the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and The Australian, and a facilitator for the British education ministry creating culture change among schools and colleges. With 20 years’ enterprise experience, falling over and picking myself up, I’m an industrial fellow of Aston Business School and a proud alumnus of Bath University’s world famous ‘sustainability MBA’ devised with The Body Shop’s green entrepreneur-activist Anita Roddick and participatory action-research professor Peter Reason.
All this work is packaged inside a small strategic communications company, Contented. This professes to help engineers who export to future-proof their organisations. My mission is to bring these people together across the world to inspire each other to innovate responsibly.
I’m always looking for passionate connections who can help me find and deliver this kind of work around the world. Maybe even join me and become a post-modern hero/ine of new stories!