What a New Success Model Must Accomplish

It’s clear from the previous discussions that a new model for success is needed to help guide us down a path to a just, living economy. What exactly would such a model or operating system need to accomplish? Here are some key desired outcomes and challenges:

We seek to bring balance and meaning back into our lives. A new model of success must give us purpose as unique individuals and define how we fit into the broader, living economy.

The success of the individual, as a unique living being, is inextricably linked to the broader well-being of our communities and our world. Our success cannot be at the expense of our life support system or other people. Rather, our success as living beings is defined by our capacity to support, restore and renew life. When we have discovered and developed our niche, we are conscious, unique living enterprises co-creating, thriving in, and contributing to a living economy.

Genuine, enduring success is not found from external sources such as money, material wealth and celebrity status. Yes, we must meet our basic human needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Leading a rich life also includes life-enhancing activities such as eating delicious meals and enjoying recreation, art, joyful work, sports, and entertainment. Recognizing these universal needs and desires, happiness and joy still comes from inside, not from external trappings such as the car you drive or the clothes you wear. Further, our needs must be balanced against the needs of others, including the poor, future generations and the web of life.

Success must be measured by a broader, more comprehensive “dashboard.” Examples include alignment with our core identity, overall well-being (physical, financial, emotional, work, mental and spiritual), the degree to which we sustain and optimize value for our stakeholders (ourselves, our customers, our families, suppliers and others) and by our net contribution and legacy to the world (i.e., Is the world better off or worse off from the existence of an individual or organization?).

A new success model should serve as a transformation framework that works at multiple levels, including individuals, organizations and even an entire economy, to help accelerate and reinforce the shifts toward a just, living economy. Quality and sustainability of life, not endless growth, should be at its core. Importantly, this model must also work within the current economic system, using what works while discarding the rest, to help users to invest more time, money, talent and resources in the emergent living economy.