The power of words

Words are powerful. They alter our moods, and can stick in our minds forever. I was reading an excerpt from New Story Blog on the weekend and Charles Eisenstein said one thing that struck me deeply – it is something that I have personally grappled with, as have many of the clients I have had the privilege to work with recently.

What he said, that spoke to me was, “ the old story that businesses are not credible if they come from love has resulted in serious crises”. Kevin Roberts, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, of Lovemark philosophy said a very similar thing years back, but did we listen? People are feeling disengaged with what they are doing, they are turning up but not showing up. There is a, disconnect with the bigger context and sense of real contribution, as well as belonging and we wonder why we have challenges with productivity.

Charles went onto say “ the world is changing rapidly and so must business. It is time to create a new dream”. What seems to be happening however is we have forgotten the power to dream. Caught up in the need to deliver profits, cut costs, we have no time to step back and explore the missing link in sustainability strategies – “love” – the most likely candidate for stabilizing the economy, decelerating climate change, protecting the environment and creating a socially just world for future generations.

Eisenstein is not the only one who is talking about this, many thought leaders are, but what seems to be getting in the way is the ‘noise’ – we must increase GDP, we must expand growth. Is it time to think differently about creating sustainable growth? Is it time to change the ‘words’ we use to describe growth?

So here is the challenge – what words could we use to shape the story we want to live, to be engaged with, to start to create a different story and therefore a different outcome.

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Anna Harper

Anna leads Cultural Shapeshifters, a consortium of accredited practitioners and extraordinary thought leaders. A shapeshifter and guide, she works as a leadership advisor and systems change agent. Currently based in Sydney, Australia with extensive work throughout Asia.