I Wrote a Manifesto
And it was really difficult.
But that's what I wanted. It needed to be difficult. Important things shouldn't be easy.
Unless it's chocolate. Chocolate should always be easy.
I wrote a manifesto because I'm establishing a business that builds businesses that serve causes. And I know that if I'm successful I'll be sharing it with others. And if I'm really successful I'll be leaving it to others.
So I needed purpose and mission. Many folk find purpose and mission hard. Some say it can't be done effectively.
I disagree. Difficulty in writing is about difficulty in thinking. Difficulty in thinking is about clarity of imagination and discipline of intent.
It takes forever to write small powerful pieces. Any fool can ramble at length, i.e this blog. In my business writing I keep it succinct. But here I can meander.
Anyway, I thought through the purpose and vision thing. I break it down to:
- Know your cause: this is about who you serve.
- Set your purpose: this about why you serve who you serve.
- Shape your business: this is about how you will concentrate effort to carry out the why for who you serve.
- Inform your mission: this is about what you do to effect the how to carry out the why for who you serve.
This is how I guide my customers. And so I've done it for myself.
But I needed more. Because I felt that what I'm trying to achieve is sufficiently ambitious to require a rallying cry. So that when things go pear shaped and we all set to arguing we have something to orient our intention.
And that's a manifesto. I used the Declaration of the Rights of Man as a guide. It's taken about six weeks to shape. It's not finished. But a manifesto is a living thing methinks.
So here is the Big Marble Manifesto.
Article I - People have a present duty to build a sustainable, responsible, humane and productive future society. Our joint task is to help each other achieve our aspirations.
Article II - We live in an era where only the individual can make sense of how to serve their values and fulfil their vision for the future. It is also an era where people must take responsibility for their own quality of work.
Article III - Work is more than just making a living. It is a source of pride, self-respect and contribution to something greater than the self. The greatest sense of professional competence, dedication and achievement comes from professional independence.
Article IV - To inspire others to contribute requires people to concentrate vision, resources and effort towards something meaningful. This means defining the task in terms of benefiting others, of serving a cause that makes a commitment to society.
Article V - Responsible enterprise brings together peoples need for aspirational achievement and society's need for productive contribution. Responsible enterprise is the specific vehicle for improving the quality of life. Responsible enterprise takes peoples and society's needs and transforms them into opportunities.
Article VI - It is the task of responsible enterprise to contribute economic production to the betterment of community, society and humanity. It is the task of responsible people to search for ways to make their aspirations productive, sustainable, responsible and humane. It is the task of Big Marble to serve these people by helping them transform their aspirations into responsible enterprise.
It'll go through a bit of change over time but it's a starting point. The Big Marble website will go up in 2017 and this will be the front page.
Just so that there's no mistaking what I'm trying to do.
Photo by Paul Earle via Unsplash