The best way of testing something out, to check if it's the right thing to do, is to do the absolute opposite and see how that feels. So, I ask you, how would you feel about being a “Force for bad!?”
And that tells me being a “Force for Good” is a good thing. Doing the very best for our planet is something we all know we need; we need positive action, and we need it fast. Like most things in life, we are stronger together, we encourage each other, and we support each other in achieving greater things than we could ever achieve alone.
I took inspiration from Stephenson and Nash’s model – The Four irreducible components of enduring success (HBR 2014). The model suggests that meaningful long-term success has four components:
Achievement – Something that takes effort and is not easy
Significance – Something that is meaningful to those it benefits
Legacy – Something with longevity
Happiness – Something that brings enjoyment
I am very fortunate in that I work with some fantastic people, with some highly inspiring clients, all in an amazingly beautiful place. Most people and organisations are trying to do the very best they can with a view to us all living in a better world. To this extent, I am incredibly fortunate to live in a positive ecosystem, all be it, within a larger one, that leaves much to be desired. What if we all joined forces as a Force for Good? Now, what could we achieve then?
Being a Force for Good is part of Impact’s mission; it comes from our founder and CEO David Williams’ belief that organisations should be exactly that, a Force for Good, a business strategy of doing well by doing good. Many of my colleagues and I are hugely motivated by this, and it is a big part of why we work at Impact. It also helps that we work from our global HQ in a National Park, the incomparable World Heritage site that is the English Lake District.
Remerging from the pandemic
During the pandemic, we celebrated our 40th anniversary at Impact, or in reality, of course, we didn’t; it wasn’t a time to celebrate anything!
Now that we are re-emerging, the need for connecting and doing things together in real life is stronger than ever. Many Impact clients are now returning to running face to face interventions. This human connectedness which we all know is key to our wellbeing and success, is once again breathing life into our organisations as we move back to being in each other’s presence and not just being on each other’s screens.
Doing something meaningful together is, of course, a fantastic way to excite people and get them engaged, and at last, we can do something together again for real. In the Summer of 2022, a team of Impact staff will take part in real life, exciting, sometimes sweaty, Japanese style Ekiden (our first international office was established in Tokyo in 1990). A multi-leg relay journey across our spiritual home, the Lake District National Park. It will be a symbolic journey that moves us from our old offices at Cragwood House (where we have been for 40 years) to our new, renovated offices in the old Grammar School building in Ambleside – Kelsick.
It’s a 5km journey, but just driving there would be too easy. At Impact, we are all about adventures. Adventure journeys are where learning and magic happen. And so, our chosen journey is actually 150km in length. It will take in the crossing of ten Lakes, some of the high mountain summits and passes, and involve walking, running, swimming, cycling, kayaking and canoeing. There are 25 legs; each leg will be led by a different member of staff who will carry the symbolic Tasuki (A sash) from our old office to our new office. How fast they go is up to them, it is a journey, not a race.
So how can you get involved, and what does this have to do with the notion of a Force4Good?
Impact is all about helping to solve the complex challenges that we all face in our world. We work with organisations across all sectors addressing these challenges in leading sustainable change. Many of our client organisations have a strong sense of purpose and set out to be responsible businesses making a difference in the world so that we leave it better than we found it.
Something Impact and many of our clients are working towards are the Sustainable Development Goals, seventeen goals set out by the United Nations that address our significant global challenges.
We are taking the opportunity of our summer journey to share some inspiring stories of positive Global Goal action from our clients and our wider network. We will hear from organisations and individuals who are playing their part in positive action for the Global Goals.
Our “adventure journey with a purpose” in 2022 is a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other, to inspire others into action and to celebrate our forty years of business. It is also an important moment for our Impact team to mark the moment we start our next chapter with a strong statement of intent as to what we all stand for.
It will be significant.
It will be an achievement.
It will leave a legacy.
It will make us happy.
If you have a positive SDG goal action story you would like to share and get involved with Force4Good, contact Andy Dickson: [email protected].