One day, maybe, people like me will be put in prison for polluting so much

A invitation to break free from mental boxes and boldly dare to reinvent your company

That's what said Ray Anderson, the visionary CEO and founder of Interface, the world's leading carpet tile manufacturer.

As early as 1994, he went on an entrepreneurial crusade to revolutionize his company.

A self-described "Radical Industrialist", Ray Anderson was touched in the heart by how human activities are overshooting the Planet. And being in the petroleum-intensive carpet industry, he put himself in the picture and listened to his inner voice (the one who speaks as loud as Greta Thunberg and says that every bad decision we make is killing future generations).

So he adopted the “Shapership” Attitude

He decided to shift from Business as Usual to Business as the world needs

1)    He said a BIG NO to "more of the same" and radically challenged the “normal” way things are. In other words, he radically challenged the “managerial paradigm” which operates through transactional optimization of Business as Usual, even if it leads us to MAD Land : Massive Assured Destruction

2)    He said a BIG YES to a radically different worldview which recognizes our entanglement with the planet, with each other and with Future! He shifted the direction of Interface. He dared a Transformative Vision and pioneered a BIG CHALLENGE:  becoming one of the first companies to achieve Zero Impact in 2020 through a change in the business paradigm.

As he declared:

Zero footprint, expressed as reaching the top of Mount Sustainability, has been the most powerfully motivating initiative I have ever seen in 55 years of business, providing a shared higher purpose for 4,000 people. For this to take hold throughout the business world, a change in the business paradigm was needed.

3)    He committed to his "impossible dream" and made purpose his bottom line. He transformed a rather dull and unattractive industry into an exciting adventure to save the planet, putting in place visionary initiatives, and transformative innovations to make his bold Vision a reality.

Using Interface's success as proof that another Economy is possible, he hoped to inspire a new generation of Business leaders and CEOs.

In fact, he truly opened a new path for the whole industry who now follow his trail. His approach to Business has changed the way materials are produced and has ignited a movement that continues to gain momentum today.

Personally, his story gives me hope that Business can move beyond the "corporatization of sustainability".

Thanks to purpose-driven CEO who have the courage and lucidity to listen to their inner voice inside. The one we call our Soul-compass”, which perfectly knows

  • that instead of keeping conforming to obsolete models and dominant worldviews which are most certainly terminating Future generations, there is a need to challenge and resist the "way things are". We call it "the Big No: Creative Resistance".
  • that another and more beautiful "world" is possible, that "what is possible is richer than what is." This is "the Big Yes: the Transformative Vision" which opens new paths towards the Future.
  • that a transformative Vision calls for transformative actions and that it will require courage to completely reinvent the way things operate, to shift from one paradigm to another. We call it the "Creative How: Anticipative Experimentation"

This is the Shapership Attitude, an invitation to Think BIG and radical (back to the roots)

Wouldn't it be great to discover more examples of what it means to be a "Radical Industrialist" today? Evidences of BIG THINKING? Of new "frontiers" opening up? Of Paradigm changes embodied in the Business world?

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