Yesterday (Monday), I saw on social media a post about hating Mondays. I suddenly realised that I used to feel the same. I remembered that when I was a child I hated Sundays afternoon because of the anticipation of having to go to school on Monday morning. Do not take me wrong, I was a very good student. The first or among the firsts throughout my entire education. I craved learning new things, yet I hated Mondays. As an adult I felt the same at the idea of having to go to work on Monday. And I did love my job! I still remember the discussion back then about making work more sustainable and finding the right balance to solve this problem. I believed that it was indeed the solution for my, our, problem of hating Mondays.
I no longer feel the same since after having founded my own company. I actually forget completely about the weekdays. It is not relevant to me as I no longer crave for the weekend or a vacation.
I fell in love with that problem (I hate Mondays) and started asking myself why, regardless of age, background, education, etc., so many of us hate or hated Mondays. I believe that wanting to find a solution to it was the first seed I planted for the creation of my own company.
I realised that it isn't because of sustainability or lack of it we face the Mondays’ horror.
The word sustainable means to continue, maintain, sustain someone or something for a period of time. The word re-generate instead implies growth, change, evolution, bringing in new vigorous life. It is not only adaptation but renewal. That is the shift that needs to occur: from sustainable to regenerative to wake up from the Monday morning nightmares.
Nature re-generates itself constantly and that is the secret to evolution. Take for example the neuroplasticity of the brain: its ability to change through life and reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells (neutrons). It is the agility to change with learning by forming new connections and so changing the internal structure of the existing synapses.
I became so inspired by this concept that I started observing nature more closely. I came up with a simpler explanation of how re-generation happens. It follows three main steps:
A seed, for example, regenerates itself into something new to become a tree or a flower. For this to happen it has to be first integrated into the soil. The soil has to include the seed, make space for it. It needs to nurture it and exchange with it so that it can transform. The outcome is a new form, a tree or a flower that changes also the environment around itself with substances it releases or extracts from it.
The same principle applies to ideas, products, anything. This is the framework on which my company ReNEWBusiness, is founded and which I apply to any challenge or request I am asked to solve. It is my recipe to renew business.
How does the 3 “I” framework (as I call it) works? Integrity is the state of being whole, complete, undivided. Real integration starts only when we become aware, know, understand, and learn how to express all the parts we have carved out within ourselves (in order to succeed, fit in, feel loved). Those parts we carve out become a shadow, our shadow side. When we have integrated, brought back in, what was left in the shadow we can start working on inclusion. Inclusion is making the space for the new integrated, whole, seed to grow. Making space doesn't mean relegating the expression of this whole self to certain dedicated ares, but through the resolution of inner and outer conflicts. We learn how to communicate the newly found authenticity. Innovation happens as an outcome of those two. It requires however leadership (self first then others and change) and transformation.
This isn't a step approach that once you have gone through is done, finished. It is rather a cycle as its outcome continuously informs and brings new awareness. When talking about business we need to shift from sustainable business, whose aim is to keep or maintain that outcome we have just reached, to regenerative business.
Going back to the problem we started with “I hate Mondays”, the solution isn't finding ways to sustain people to cope with it but instead is to ReNEW Business. It requires us first to integrate HUMANITY; the humanity within us and the humanity into business models. It requires innovation on the level of Being. It is not about doing something different. It is about BEING different in the first place; as a consequence we do things differently. I spoke about it during my TEDx talk on “Poetry and the Professions of the Future".
It’s a holistic approach not a single time exercise or one solution fits all. Innovating the way of being requires more than just a quick fix, it requires a 3 “I” regenerative cycle. What do you need to integrate and include to create the innovation you seek? What do you want to transform? Are you conscious about your regenerative power? If you are curious and want to solve some of your challenges I would be happy to hear from you.