I spent this past weekend in Aspen, Colorado, taking part in Earth Call – a global gathering of people working on all things connected to sustainability.

(Perhaps, you don’t know this about me, but I used to be a chaired professor of sustainability, so there, I confess).

As amazing thinkers, scientists, business people, movie makers, and more gathered, some of them knew me from my “past life.”

And as we exchanged pleasantries, they asked me what am I doing now.

“Reinvention?!” – they repeated with disappointment and near horror in their eyes. “How did you go from sustainability to reinvention?!”

There are two myths that are rolled into these questions.

Myth number one suggests that sustainability is about keeping things as they are – stable, predictable, preserved.

Yet, nature – the best teacher of all things value creation and sustainability – is constantly changing.

Venture into a nearby forest, and you will learn how a healthy economy looks like, what is good marketing (Flowers? Butterflies? Those are the BEST advertising professionals on the planet!) – and how to sustain your business for billions of years.

The only way to sustain is to reinvent.

Sustainability = Reinvention.

Myth number two suggests that sustainability is the highest goal. 

So, let’s challenge that for a second.

Imagine that on Friday you go out for a wonderful dinner.

After a great meal, you are leaving the restaurant and accidentally bump into an old neighbor of yours who moved away.

You hug, you laugh, you ask how things are going.

“How’s work?”
“How’s the new house?”
“How’s your marriage?”

I want you to feel the full impact of this answer.
Does it feel right?
Does it seem to represent our highest aspirations?

I hope we don’t want our marriages to be just sustainable.

I hope we don’t settle for companies, communities, societies that are just sustainable.
I hope we are aiming for great. Amazing. Remarkable.
I hope we are fighting for more.

And to show you how this “more” can look like – how you can make more money while creating more value and meaning and sustainability at work – I want to share my TEDx talk on powering up innovation for a resource-deprived world.

My goal for the talk was simple: offer a viable alternative to “sustainability” and show specific ways we can reinvent this word, do something truly meaningful for the planet, while still running a smart business.

I wonder which of the principles of innovation and business stories I share here resonate most with you:
Mine? Probably Rolls-Royce.

But that deserves a whole other conversation…

P.S. Every week we send out a newsletter filled with tips and tricks of reinvention. Subscribe below to be the FIRST one to know about our new tools, resources, data and research and get a deck of our FREE Business Model Reinvention Cards.

One Response to “Is your marriage sustainable?”

  1. sapilo says:

    I love this! I think I’m actually going to do this exercise because we map out our dreams and achieve them, why not map out our marriage and achieve that as well. thanks for your information I really like your write up I will come back and read more of your post.

Leave a Reply