7 Steps to “Deep ESG” and regenerative business models

How can we build regenerative business-models, starting from extractive models ?

First, to reassure everybody, the new businesses will be mostly in margin, and complementary to the old ones. You will be able to become “new entrants” of other businesses, whilst protecting the existing cash cows. Do NOT create revolutions, but work with an “action team” of usual suspects.

Here are the 7 steps we have experienced as quite efficient, with our clients and allies :

1. A serious choice

What this step is: Decide to “go for it — whatever it takes”. Knowing it is going to be tough sometimes, and pre-decide to persevere whatever happens. Why is this step important: If you take a fake or “half” decision, and work on window-dressing, don’t go for it because you will fail. Taking such a courageous and serious decision will make you and your project stand out, and give you energy to transition for real. Did you ever “try to” stop smoking or change your eating habits ? Hm… ? Just… do it. Go for it. This is how we succeed.

2. Open up quality space

Open up a stargate to tomorrow, for work on self, project, organization, territory. Inside this global stress, confusion, and urgencies, make a breach for breathing, reflecting, connecting, experimenting, innovating. Reconnect with fundamentals, values, resources, work on core competences and excellence. It is very difficult to do the necessary quality work inside stress and high tide. Dedicated space-time is an absolute must. A few hours per week, in a nice creative place, with a dedicated team, with goals and a little bit of resources (not too much it makes one lazy), and goals (focuses intentions), but with full access to the organisation and its networks and knowledge. Space should be fertile. Impossible to do good work in a messy space.

3. Learn Transversal excellence

Open up perception to neighboring sciences, cultures, generations, markets, business areas. Multiple helix (public, private, companies, citizens, media, academic, science, industries, environment, politics, administrations,…) Study and sense the shifts, deep evolutions, weak and strong signals in them, and successes, or performant basic principles. Diversity is king. Become a holistic learner : an “omnolog”. This step will give you an overview of what is going to change, and how, when, and how it will impact on your activities. It will open up masses of opportunities. The team’s job will be to connect dots, iterate, refine and select. It will take you out of the grey mass of mediocrity of others who have not done this homework because they stayed in their “business-as-usual” boxes. It will make you stand out and attract a different kind of customer, talent, and stakeholder, who will bring new contributions. It prepares you to (re)act, to anticipate, to new scenarios. Whatever happens, you will fall back on your feet like an agile cat. Or a leopard

4. Multiply existing value

Detect assets and liabilities, at all possible levels: Detecting how a liability can be turned into an opportunity. Alchemy: changing waste into energy, a problem into a business, a question into an answer. Detecting how intangible treasures are interconnected with each other, and how this can affect the bottom line: knowledge, networks, purpose, processes, … And then, increase the value of existing assets, multiply them and exploit them. Once you have access to those underused resources, the ideal is to make the most value out of them, whilst connecting dots inside and outside your organisation. The goal is to increase the value of existing assets, multiply them and valorize them. Most of the time, it ends up into spinning them off into new activities. Be there when it happens… If you are not fast enough, someone smarter will run with the value… and make money with it whereas you could have done it.

5. Create (un-)expected alliances

In this step, you need to shift your activities as a person, organization or company, so that they serve several challenges at the same time — not just one product or service. The purpose of the activity is scaled up, so that it serves the whole ecosystem of stakeholders — and thus attracts new allies and collaborations. It will make you and your projects much more desirable for talents, clients, stakeholders. It will thus attract more resources, virtuous collaborations, positive energies and reputation. A philosopher and a gardener, a physisist and a biologist, a salesperson and a student, an archeolog and a businessperson, a politic and a sociologist, a miner and an IT expert, a beehive and a drone, a monk and an editor,…

6. Generate multifunctional solutions

By opening up to your whole ecosystem of stakeholders, you can bring unique proposals, called “multisolutions”, ticking several boxes. This step will allow you to stand out, to bring new creative value and to develop a new and attractive uniqueness solving multiple challenges at the same time. So collectively we will create millions of solution “clusters”. Your solution will be much more desirable to clients, talents, and to stakeholders, even to suppliers, as you will be their visionary client helping them towards tomorrow’s chapter of economy and business.

7. Create your “Resilience Island”

This last step is about regaining sovereignty. This is the power of a person, organization or territory/state to do whatever is necessary to govern itself in autonomy. For example, for an individual it means: having an identity and ideas of one’s own, the ability to express oneself, to develop unique talents and skills, to live a happy and fulfilled life, without worrying about controls, incoherences and manipulations. Clusters of courageous players will gather around challenges, opportunities, eco-villages, virtuous organizations, wise leaders, ethical companies, regenerative initiatives, like dots on the map — or spots on the leopard skin — and inspire others around little by little at first, and exponentially afterwards. You will inspire and attract top talent and top clients.

Yes, this takes time, efforts, learning, and investment. Lots of humility too. But it is very profitable once there… writing history. Do not believe a second this is a free ride or free lunch. On the contrary, it will take guts, time and money … but it will definetely bring glory if you get there !

Proif. Michel A. de Kemmeter


#transition #systemiceconomy #kairosmultisolutions #systemiccollapse #esgmagic




Expert in economic transition, keynote speaker, author, consultant and investor. Professor @VUB Vesalius College. Inventor of the “Systemic Economy” model.

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Michel A. de Kemmeter

Michel A. de Kemmeter

Expert in economic transition, keynote speaker, author, consultant and investor. Professor @VUB Vesalius College. Inventor of the “Systemic Economy” model.

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