Sustainability

—   If I/we take this action, will it lead toward or away from the future resource base described in my/our holisticgoal?
In years gone by, decision making has usually focused on the financial health of a business, family or organisation.  The Sustainability testing guideline focuses your thoughts towards the future resource base ie the bottom section of your holisticgoal, which looks like this:



Here is the logic of this testing guideline.
If you are not constantly moving towards a healthy and sustainable underlying resource base then the whole business, organisation or family unit will probably fail in the longer term, regardless of how well it is doing financially right now.

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How to use this Guideline
Focus, one–by–one, on each segment of the future resource base (land, how you must be known by others (ie people), your community, and infrastructure).  

Land
No matter where you live or what you do, you are connected to the land.  If you are a farmer, it’s the place where your income comes from.  If you are a ‘townie’ then it's the place where the things you put into your body comes from - your food and water. It's also the where your waste goes, so you need it to be healthy for yourself and your grandchildren!!
 
Everyone should place a general reference to the land in their holisticgoal.  A farmer needs to be even more specific, and describe the way his/her land must become so that the land is vibrant and productive for ever more.  Refer to the example above for more information. Remember, it will improve or decline decision by decision.

If you use the tool of technology you are definitely tied back to the land.  You'll need to consider the effects your decisions have on the ecosystem processes.  It’s easy to forget this, because on their own your decisions may not seem to be having a noticeable effect.  However the cumulative effect of your decisions and the decisions of others like you, eventually effect the land.

Technology you use during a manufacturing process may effect the land.  Sometimes the impact occurs during the disposal of waste generated during the manufacturing process; sometimes the effect occurs during the final disposal of the manufactured product, and that is often years into the future.

If you are involved in a whole that effects land, the change (positive or negative) might take some time, but have confidence that a great number of small things you do will cumulatively make the difference.  Decision by decision, every little action moves you towards or away from the future resource base described in your holisticgoal!

People
"Freedom to choose our own outcomes and responses" is a common thread in people's Quality of Life statement. So what does it mean? It means that if that notion is good enough for you, it's good enough for others as well.  Given the choice, others might decide to interact with you or with someone else.  If your business depends on buyers choosing from you first, then you had better describe in your holistic goal how others must see and know you, and stick to it!  It's the same for personal relationships - people will choose to be (or not be) your friend, based on your actions. 

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Community
For many people a description of their community in the future is important.  Too many country towns are withering.  I don't believe it is an inevitability but it is inevitable whilst land health is static or degrading.  Declining land simply cannot sustain the people, businesses and services it once used to support.  Your decisions alone may not keep the bank or the store in town, but cumulatively your decision to (for instance) shop locally or elsewhere has an effect.  Managing holistically doesn’t “say” you have to shop locally - it simply asks you to think through your actions: might they impact others in a way that causes outcomes that you don’t really want?

Infrastructure
Whether you are building something physical or contemplating the recruitment of new staff members, you should consider whether the action you are testing might adversely impact the infrastructure that supports your business, organisation or family.
 
Over my life I have seen inaccessible cattle yards and shearing sheds.  I have seen buildings that simply couldn’t do what they were supposed to do: I have seen hospital doorways that were too narrow for the beds to pass through, and cell doors in a police station that couldn't be closed without compromising the safety of the police involved.  These mistakes do happen, but they don’t need to happen to you!

Training of staff is an action that require careful consideration as you pass through this test.  If you are growing and need new staff, they are new ‘infrastructure’.  How do you want them to be?


Hint: People often answer this question by describing them as “Appropriately qualified”, and that works well.  If you need a rocket scientist, then a garbologist is unlikely to be appropriately qualified.  If you need a raw recruit that you will train from the outset, then a rocket scientist is unlikely to be appropriate for the job.   You can laugh, but look around and see how many people you know who are in the wrong job.

This works as well when thinking about contractors.  Which contractor is most appropriately qualified for the job at hand?

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To play Video Clip, just click once on the play icon. (If you have slow internet connection such as Satellite or dial up then you may need to press pause for a minute to allow streaming of clip for a continuous viewing)

Audio Clip

To play Audio Click, just click once on the play icon. (If you have slow internet connection such as Satellite or dial up then you may need to press pause for a minute to allow streaming of clip for continuous listening)

Focus, one–by–one, on each segment of the future resource base (land, how you must be known by others (ie people), your community, and infrastructure).

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