Classes and Workshops
Reinventing Organizations Book Club
Starting on April 21, 2015 I attended a weekly book club meeting organized by Magda Barcelo to discuss Reinventing Organizations by Fredreric Laloux. I already read the book for my last ouput packet and it had become my favorite book on the subject, perhaps my favorite book period. The meetings took place at The Integral Center and the group included several business consultants and community members who I was glad to get to know better. We discussed one section each week and had amazing discussions about the ideas presented and how we could enact them in our own organizations.
Women In Community (WINC) Workshop
On April 1, 2015 I attended a free three and a half hour workshop put on by an awesome woman named Myka, her consultancy is Women In Community. She helps women entrepreneurs get over stumbling blocks like self-doubt, bad relationship with money, resistance to marketing and selling, and difficulty seeing the overall picture and figuring out what to focus on. I would like to incorporate some of her ideas into my incubator. She is still focussed on conventional companies where the women she is helping are owner/CEOs who are doing the superhero entrepreneur thing. I want to get away from that so I'm not interested in doing exactly what she's doing, but I learned a lot.
Starting on April 1, 2015 I attended several weekly events put on by Lotus Sattva at The Integral Center, her consultancy is Deep Compass. She facilitated a group process of co-creation where we would create an energetic container through meditation and present awareness. We would make a couple of rounds using presencing language to describe our current reality. Then we would formulate a question to ask the source and allow the answers to come through us rather than generating them from ego or previous knowledge. I think this could be a useful practice to do at the beginning of visioning or strategic planning meetings for a company. At the first event I met Jay Ma, another Gaia U associate who was in town for a week visiting Lotus. We hung out several times and I got to know Lotus as well. We may work together on projects in the future.
Envision Your Company Brand
On April 13, 2015 I attended a two hour workshop led by a woman named Diane, her consultancy is Novel Website Design. She had great advice about creating a brand that is authentic to who you are and what you have to offer. She talked about everything that is part of your brand, including how you interact with clients, your appearance, colors on your website and office, etc. We did an exercise where we defined what we do and why we do it. We used the words we came up with to make a brand statement. Mine was "To conscientious entrepreneurs, I am a regenerative systems designer because I want to create efficient, socially just, and sustainable businesses."
Business Abundance Boost
On April 21, 2015 I attended a two hour workshop at my friend Lotus's house put on by Soleo Naskrent, his consultancy is Pinnacle Success Source. He led us through a visioning process to imagine ourselves being successful and let go of self-doubt. The best part of the workshop was when we were paired up and pretended that we were in the future, asking each other how we were doing in our businesses and telling each other how wildly successful we are. It was great to get a really clear picture of where I want to be. If I don't know exactly what I want, I can't get it, and it is very motivating to know what it feels like to actually have it.
Envision Your Company Brand Workshop
I found out about this workshop on Facebook. It is a part of a series on marketing. I had decided to try to go to at least on event every week and this looked like a good opportunity. Of all of the workshops listed, this one on branding seemed like the one I could use the most.
Diane was a great presenter. She was engaging and fun. She talked about how to see branding as a representation of who you are, not an ingenuine attempt to sell something. She had us to an exercise to uncover what our core values are and see how that relates to why we are doing what we're doing. Then we used that, plus an explanation of how and what we do to create a branding statement that captures the essence of what we should be trying to convey with our marketing.
It was a great experience. I learned from Diane by observing how she presented and the format she used for the workshop. I also learned about genuine branding and came up with my own branding statement that can hopefully help me figure out my marketing in the future.
I was super excited when the Holacracy book finally arrived at my house. I had pre-ordered it six months before and was patiently awaiting it's publication. I read it in the week after I got it. Here are my notes.
The Lean Startup
I could not be reading this book at a better time. I am ready to spring-board into starting multiple enterprises, and this is exactly what I need to do it well. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's one of those ah-ha moments that just changes everything.
How to Build a Free Sales Force
This book gave me a good idea of what it takes to do effective networking. I have been going to at least one public event a week to meet people and hand out my business cards. I knew I was on the right track, but this book gave me some great pointers to get more referrals and clients from this effort.
Owning Our Future
Owning our future is an amazing book on the new ownership paradigm. Marjorie Kelly really expanded my thinking about the topic beyond Co-ops. She offered five principles; Living Purpose, Rooted Membership, Mission-Controlled Governance, Stakeholder Finance, and Ethical Networks that can be applied in a variety of ways. She gave several great case studies including Organic Valley and the John Lewis Partnership, which I hadn't heard of before. I find this an indispensable reference for the regenerative economic movement.
The B-Corp Handbook
I loved this nuts-and-bolts handbook for Benefit Corporations. I am not thrilled with the categories that they rate the businesses by, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. The legal framework is key, though that varies state to state. I look forward to taking the B Impact Assessment and helping other companies do the same.
The B-Corp Handbook Notes
The Responsible Business
I'm picking through this book. It is full of anecdotal stories about different businesses that Carol Sanford has worked with to apply sustainability. She has a lot of wisdom to impart, though the structure of this book is a little too long-winded and meandering for my taste. It is, however, useful to see these principles applied in different contexts and hear from another consultant's experience.