Making a success of your life, making a success of your business, making a success of your start-up. What does success mean to you? Placing yourself in the context of the real world, how will you be able to say one day, in your heart of hearts, that you have made a success?

If your company’s mission statement is to be the best or to be the market leader in your sector, you are going to satisfy your shareholders’ expectations, but does it really bring all the stakeholders in your company together? Are your performance and the company’s value solely calculated on the basis of the EBITDA? Judging the value of your business solely on its financial performance is outdated.

I invite you to de ne the success of your business by using an integral vision based on the creation of shared values. Your responsibility is to know why the business exists. What would the community miss if it didn’t exist? Do you want to be the best in the world or the best for the world in your industry? If you portray a vision which only pleases your investor, your long-term success is going to be difficult. But if you portray a true integral vision which places your business within its community and includes all stakeholders, you will find it easier to attract the right suppliers, the right talents and good clients. The true value of a business is, above all, the sum of its talents who brought it to life and nourished it, and that is where success comes from.

In 2005, in Cairo, I was asking an old man about the symbolism of the 2004 tsunami which swept the Asian coasts at the cost of 300,000 lives. The old man answered me: “The Earth is going to give birth to a new world. What you saw there was the waters breaking. You will see the contractions beginning in a few years’ time.” I have never forgotten what he said. I keep thinking about it as we go through this succession of crises. One world is dying and another world is being born.

This new idea of success being gauged by the creation of shared value renews the importance of our common human heritage, collective community and future generations. These new entrepreneurs are motivated through establishing a system that respects the environment, people and that creates shared wealth. They know it is too late only to create businesses which are sustainable. We have to create “regenerative” businesses, meaning that they create more value than they consume. As a business leader for 15 years, who was continually researching pioneering solutions, I can give you four key pieces of advice for achieving this objective of “regeneration” while being financially sustainable 

1. Relocate fundamental resources of food supply and energy. It has become necessary to bring production closer to where it is consumed;

2. Create a collaborative economy;

3. Think about use rather than ownership. For example, fundamentally, we don’t need to own a fridge but rather have the use of a solution that provides cold. If suppliers thought that way, they would never again need to think about programmed obsolescence to sell the product against all odds;

4. Consider a circular economy where the waste produced from one business provides the fuel and raw material for another.

Women who have experienced it know that giving birth brings a lot of hope but also pain and uncertainty. We are at the tipping point where everything is possible. The key is to know whether, today, you want to be among those who give birth to the new world or rather among those who watch and hope things will turn out as best they can. The political world is going to take too long to adapt despite ruptures and shocks. You, the entrepreneurs (or the enterprising), you have the choice, whether to stay in a world which is ending or to create the one which is coming.

The fact you are reading this article makes me believe you have already chosen

Guibert Del Marmol,

Utopian pragmatist, advisor, author and lecturer. My mission? To light a fire in the hearts of enterprising people

Further reading:
« Sans plus attendre » : Guibert del Marmol
« Réinventer les organisations » : Fédéric Laloux.
« Petit traité de vie intérieurs », Frédéric Lenoir, Plon, 2010
« Les entreprises humanistes », Jacques Lecomte, les arènes, 2016.

Let’s dare to dream about start-ups, LET’S DARE to create the future Start-up and decline, the new paradigm?