Skip to main content

Businesses are 'living systems'

October 3, 2017

There are numerous approaches on how to run a business, but all are based on a mix of five paradigms. These undercurrents might be invisible even to their leaders, but determine the results they get in markets and the effects they have on the world around them. 

In order to create change, business leaders must understand their motives and underpinnings, said Carol Sanford, executive producer of the Regenerative Business Summit. 

In order to ensure a sustainable business environment, healthy planet and society in the future, some businesses understood that "it's not enough to do less harm; we needed to do good in the world."

These businesses are working with "living systems" as frameworks. They don't see themselves as siloed actors, but as parts of a grander whole. 

"Everything that is alive has an essence," said Sanford. "We all live in a community or ecosystem." This is a truth that she learned from her Mohawk grandparents — and organizations that begin to manage their employees and resources under this philosophy achieve greater long-term success.