Business not as usual but as art
A growing band of people want to change the way we do business.
I have been taking stock of them for a few years. They’re not held together by profession or trade. They are painters and contractors, designers and teachers, insurance agents and literary agents.
They own retail shops and resale shops. They operate health care centers and spiritual centers. They produce events and manufacture products. They are lawyers and writers, filmmakers and trouble-makers.
They are clients of Tracking Wonder Consultancy, people who journey through our Live the Quest Learning Expeditions, subscribers to my weekly letter and to this blog. They are the entrepreneurs & artists I have been interviewing for seven years, the social entrepreneurs and NPO executive groups I have spoken to. They are people I’ve not met yet.
A common hunger bonds them.
They hunger for something different. Radically different.
They don’t want to destroy capitalism. They don’t want nihilism. They don’t want anarchy.
But they do want a different kind of business than the 20th-century way of business as usual.
They want integrity.
They favor human messiness over bottom-line efficiency of “human resources.” They favor a shared economy versus competing for an imaginary finite market share. They seek competitive collaboration versus cut-throat competition.
They question “lean” if it also means “mean” and “cold” and “automated.”
They question a 4-hour-work week if it also means pumping the planet with more privilege for the few.
They want human, not hip.
They want right scale, not upscale.
They want impact as much as right livelihood.
They practice right resistance. They resist defeatism, dream assassination, self-annihilation. They resist The World of Buzz full of false promises and phony personas.
They resist the bifurcated life and champion the integrated life.
They don’t want an elusive perfect work-life balance. They want it all – the brilliant break-through creations, the executions borne from sweat & wit, the audience engagement + the ailing parent’s needs & the child’s cold & the crashed computer & the grief-stricken friend down the road & the challenged relationship – all of it to feel part & parcel of the same crazy quest.
They shape hours, days, and weeks like clay – even if what comes out is not what they envisioned.
At the end of the day they do not want to feel like the walking dead.
They want to feel utterly, wildly alive.
They see business as a craft to be mastered with finesse, grace, and a signature style that brings an audience delight and reward.
They are experience architects. They are story architects.
They are makers. They make things, make experiences, make a living, and make a difference.
They know that to make true art merits more sweat than meets the eye.
They don’t only want to make a difference. They want to make a different kind of business. They want to make a world where being a business owner can be an art.
They want a new language for this new way of being in business and making business different.
They are business artists,
and they are becoming masters at creating business as unusual.
What are you making?