What if every organization were guided by the question: how can our actions best contribute to life’s ability to thrive at every level – for employees, for the organization, for customers, for community, for the biosphere? What if our guidance in this intention came from the ways life itself operates, in all its effortless creativity, order and resilience? What if this were, in fact, a better path to productivity, competitive advantage and success? And what if, along the way, each of us could feel a meaningful sense of connection and contribution to the whole of life?
Our goal would be not only profitability and not only sustainability – but thrivability.
As it stands, this is not the explicit intention and modus operandi of organizations today, or for the past hundred years. Instead, organizational DNA is programmed to create something less than life thriving. After decades of operating from this pattern, life is in the balance. My life. Your life. All life on Earth. (OK, the cockroaches will probably be OK no matter what, but that’s not very reassuring.)
The good news is that, around the world, there are examples of positive mutations to organizational DNA. Companies operating from an altered pattern, with promising results. Even better, there are masses of people hungry to know about and propagate these mutations.
What’s needed is some means of charting this emergent DNA pattern so that others can replicate not best practices but best principles. This is the full mission of the Thrivable World Quest. In over a decade of research and client work, we have identified ten fertile conditions that organizations must cultivate for life to thrive. These will be the themes we will explore. They will be our treasure map. The quest is to add multiple perspectives and stories to make the map fully robust and to help the pattern spread.
Positive mutations. A core map of the mutation pattern. Masses of people eager to integrate that pattern into their own organizations. If we put all of these things together in a way that embodies the grand collaboration, playfulness and engagement needed, we might just figure out how to have every business on Earth be fully in service of life on the planet.
Let’s start designing organizations as if life were precious. As if the viability of our species depended on it. As if life’s infinite wisdom were readily available to us. It’s time to calmly, creatively, and joyfully regenerate, renew, repair, and reverse some of the disastrous trends on our planet and nurture new organizational mutations that help us to do that.