"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!"  Such was my personal soundtrack during a road-trip move across the country with my family in 1989.  And such is an appropriate soundtrack as we begin this next cycle of the Mayan long-count calendar.


New worlds and new times invite -- nay, demand -- change.  We've often offered change resources here at InnovatingSMART, and at this new time I offer a batch of personal favorites especially for SMART innovators.  I hope they inspire you as much as they've inspired me....


My first favorite resource for the New Year is a personal methodology defined as The Bigger Game and described in a book of the same title by Rick Tamlyn and the late Laura Whitworth.  The Bigger Game urges us each toward our next big "Gulp" challenge.   I have done my homework and picked my own Bigger Game for the coming year, and am excited to start to play.  


"Gulp" challenges can surprise you, in that sometimes focusing on less is actually your Bigger Game.  What do I mean by that?  As sustainability-driven advocates and innovators, we sometimes live in a permanent state of feeling the need to "save the planet".   This is a huge game-state that can exhaust us and be, well, unsustainable.   But to focus on one "Compelling Purpose" that you "care about madly", and pursuing it creatively and with as much excellence as you can muster and as many well-aligned collaborators as you can find... such is a game is invigorating to play!   As the book describes, you know your game is "Bigger" when you don't already know how to do it.  While the book gives feeling-based guidance on how to recognize your own next Bigger Game, Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend offers this list of questions to help you tease out what you care about most.


My second favorite resource for the New Year is a new book just published by colleagues Laszlo Gyorffy and Lisa Friedman.   Creating Value with CO-STAR is a "how-to book for innovators around the world".   Laszlo and Lisa have been helping entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs crystalize the value of their ideas and craft their perfect pitches since before I met them six years ago.   I am thrilled to see that they have published this simple but powerful method for all to use.  Find out more in this month's spotlighted innovation story.


Finally, I am looking forward to receiving my new copy of Great from the Start, by start-up lawyer John Montgomery.   I met John several years ago at an SAP-hosted "Future Salon".   Citizens United had just won their play to give corporations unlimited political advertising privileges.   John shared with us the work he'd been doing for years to make inspired entrepreneurs aware that they could "bake" their ideals to change the world (while making money) right into their Articles of Incorporation.   Since then, John has helped codify this by co-crafting the language that has become the Benefit Corporation under California law.  This law makes binding a corporation's decision to serve it stakeholders, not merely its shareholders.   It is informed and supported by the B Corporation certification provided by B-Lab;  this certification is not a legal requirement, but it is a great guide to any business bold enough to hold themselves to a higher bar.


Yes, we can only hope that we are at the end of the world as we know it.   "Business as usual" is so "last baktun".  Thank you, REM!


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Sue Lebeck 

  Cool Block Platform Director

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