The Food Pyramid and Business

The Food Pyramid and Business

The goal of the food pyramid is to promote eating a variety of foods.  It recognizes that health comes from the combination of nutrition sources.  So it is with our business health.  It’s critical to access ideas, inspiration and conversation from a variety of sources.

In a few weeks I will go to the Social Venture Network.  It’s part of my “balanced diet”.   It’s a small conference about 400, people from across the country who use their businesses as vehicles for positive change.  This is about way more than making a donation to a charity at the end of the year.  It’s about building a profitable company in Africa that creates a cash timber crop for farmers with poor soil.  A manufacturing and distribution company that hires workers with mental, physical and emotional limitations.  A yogurt company (Stoneyfield Farm) that drove the largest retailer in the world into organics.  That’s just a small sample. More about that in another blog post.  What I get from this conference are new contacts, collaborators, inspiration and a chance to explore outside the box thinking on change.  I go to SVN twice a year.east inflatables

The Fortune Growth Summit is another amazing conference This is all business.   The speakers list is a roster of the best-selling business authors and thinkers of the moment.  This year’s conference will feature Daniel Pink – Drive and A Whole New Mind.  In the past I have learned from people like Marcus Buckingham, Tom Peters, Tony Hsieh, the Founder of Zappos, and many others.  Verne Harnish, author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and creator of the One Page Strategic Plan, organizes the conference.   I go to this conference to get fresh thinking on trends and approaches in business.  It’s helps me help our clients and ourselves stay on the cutting edge.

Gazelles Coaching Conference is professional development for me.  I get new approaches and thinking and have a chance to engage in conversations that challenge and expand my thinking.

Tom Friedman’s new book, That Used to Be Us is thought provoking.

He paints a stark picture of how the U.S. is in danger of losing its status as an important power in world and an optimistic approach to what we can do.  Big implications for everyone in business.  It also makes clear the importance for government and business to see shifts that will dramatically affect us.  It’s one of the reasons we look at trends and the implications of those trends with our clients.  So reading books that are not specifically about business but about the world we live in is critical.

Other parts of my “diet” include blogs, the occasional webinar, conversations with clients who tell me about their industry and their world .  I also keep a finger on the pulse of mega book and movie trends.

Someone asked me why I read Harry Potter.  Anything that broadly read will be both reflective of and predictive of emerging “myths”.  Note, in the first book the solution to the crisis was made possible by three, not one but three people using their individual talents.  This is big step from the Lone Ranger.  We do business in collaborative teams, less frequently relying on a single “hero”.

Bottom line – My brain, creativity, inspiration require nutrients from many sources.

What are you doing to balance the Food for Thought in YOUR Food Pyramid?

By Elizabeth Crook

President of Orchard Advisors, Certified Gazelles Coach, works with executives and management teams to grow profitability and satisfaction.

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