This is part of a series on change and what it means to be a “trim tab.”
What we need now, is a world full of trim tabs.
Individuals, families, businesses, communities – each and all can be trim tabs. In his book The Necessary Revolution: Working Together to Create a Sustainable World,  Peter Senge, an organizational change leader, explains this…

“Occasionally, something different happens,” he explains. “A collective awakening to new possibilities that changes everything over time – how people see the world, what they value, how society defines progress and organizes itself, and how institutions operate. The Renaissance was such a shift, as was the Industrial Revolution. So, too, is what is starting to happen around the world today.”

Today, I heard an economist talk about the health (or lack thereof) of our economy, and how, in his estimation, it would not seriously improve until around 2016 – based on GDP growth. That requires people walking into shops and buying stuff – which stimulates our economic consumption engine, so companies produce more stuff and create jobs and that allows them to buy more stuff, and on it goes. Where has that gotten us? So where’s the trim tab opportunity?

It starts with a “trim tab” thought…

How about an iPad app that measured our GSP: Gross Sustainable Product, not GDP? What if we measured the health of our economy (and our communities) by how many CSA’s are thriving? By how many gardens people or businesses have planted? By how many households, schools, workplaces can go to zero-waste? By how few sick days people are taking because they have wellness days to take instead? By how many businesses are moving more in the direction of sustainability? By how fewer children are going to school on empty stomachs? By how happy we are? How well-rested? How optimistic we are for our futures and those of our children and grandchildren?

That’s how trim-tabbing starts – ask a different question than the ones that have already been asked. And it’s not always about profits.

Peter Drucker said this and it couldn’t be more true today. “Profit for a company is like oxygen for a person. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re out of the game. But if you think your life is about breathing, you’re really missing something.”

So what are you missing? Be a trim tab and find it! And then let your customers know about it through social videos. They care about more than profit too, and want to know that the companies with whom they spend their dollars share their values.

Social videos let your customers know about your trim tab efforts and the ways your business shares their values.

Being a trim tab might require looking for solutions in a different paradigm than the one that created the problems.

Einstein said that a long time ago. It’s still true.

Peter Senge says, “Endings are also beginnings. The Industrial Age has brought extraordinary improvements in public education, human rights, and material well-being, but it has also destroyed ecosystems, swallowed up traditional cultures that had thrived for centuries, and created a way of life that cannot continue for much longer. With regard to each of these interconnected problems, the same fundamental choice exists: Do we protect the ways of the past or join in creating a different future?…”
Be a trim tab. We’re all depending on you.

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