In this article Kate Griffiths explores further the idea of new paradigm business by sharing the example given by The People’s Supermarket. She also touches on what you need to become to be a new paradigm business by drawing on some of the ideas in the Dandelion Insurrection and she invites you to go deeper by joining her forthcoming mindful mastermind group.
What is really resonating for me at the moment is the idea that we are one thought away from a positive thought. Just think about that for a moment, it gives you such power. I share this because it seems very relevant today when we live in a world where the old paradigm seems to be dominant and the new paradigm appears only in small pockets. Let me say more.
Last week I was talking to Arthur Potts Dawson, the man behind The People’s Supermarket (TPS), which is a truly inspiring concept with the tagline for the people, by the people. TPS is based in London and through its network of suppliers offers amazing fruit and veg at great prices. This is in part because it is a co-operative: local people volunteer to work behind the tills or stack shelves which keeps the price to the consumer down and as a thank you get 10% off their shop in the store. It is also because TPS has made deals with farmers who cannot supply regular supermarkets because their produce does not fit with EU regulations. This is an organisation that is applying the winnovator concept by creating a win for their clientele, for the farmers and the planet as the food is bought and eaten rather than being ploughed over. TPS therefore is another example of a new paradigm business.
This is all very inspiring but there is still a long way to go in relation to food. Here in Hertfordshire for example, schools are locked into a contract with Herts catering because it is believed by those with the power to make the decisions that this will ensure value for money. And yet it means alternative solutions such as the introduction of organic veg is impossible because that would mean moving away from centralised contracting. Looking at this from another angle how many of you shop regularly in Tescos, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi or Lidl? The British as a nation has completely bought into the concept of supermarkets as the means for getting food. Did you know that for the most part those who have influence with the policy makers at DEFRA are representatives from one of the big three supermarkets so nothing is about to change or is it?
Part of working in the new paradigm is about being much more in tune with your intuition and doing things that may even sound a bit crazy to others! Ranting about stuff or scaring people into making change is not sustainable or effective. We need to find a new way and that’s why I have enjoyed Rivera Sun‘s new book The Dandelion Insurrection. Did you know that the original phrase for dandelion in French was dent de lion (tooth of a lion) and that dandelions spring up unbidden in concrete cracks? In other words using the symbolism of dandelions, Rivera Sun is speaking to the need for bravery and a certain kind of tenaciousness today. The theme of the book is all about the courage it takes to defy cynicism and apathy; and Rivera is urging readers to stand vulnerable in the harsh reality of the world. The way forward comes by breaking open hearts with love and humour. Just like the girl in the photo she is having fun probably blowing on the dandelion to work out what the time is. Yet whilst doing it, she is unaware of how far the seeds may travel and how many more dandelions will grow, she is just absorbed in her game. In the same way that when you are passionate about what you do and engage others in conversation from that space, you probably do not realise how much impact you will have. The key to it all is in the mantra from Rivera;s book that has stayed with me and that is: Be kind. Be connected. Be unafraid.
If you apply these ideas to whatever you are passionate about be it food, education or business just imagine what could happen. You could be part of the change that is needed. You could be part of a growing breed of new paradigm businesses. And yet, one thing I know is all of this is much easier when you find those with similar values and connect. For that reason in October, I am starting a mindful mastermind group. If you want to find out more or sign up then do get in touch. Do take a moment to share your thoughts on this article too. Thank you.
Following a career in a blue chip company, Kate set up her own business in 2012. She spends a lot of time coaching groups of soulpreneurs who are passionate about what they do and want to find ways to make what they do more profitable.
The focus of Kate’s work is to consult to SMEs what it takes to be entrepreneurial in the new paradigm as more and more people are waking up and realising that much of the old way of working no long works. She is in the process of launching a new project with organisations in the food industry that are seeking to bring new ways of working in that world.