Making-It-Happen: Adding Value to Change.


The overwhelming emphasis in the world today is focused on articulating targets – whether 2050 for “net-zero” carbon emissions; distribution of vaccines to less developed countries or massive infrastructure funding promises.

Greg Sheridan exposes the politics of targets over ‘making- it- happen’: “The G7’s goal is zero net emissions by 2050. The term “net-zero” itself is a kind of magic conjuring term. If you have human life you will have emissions. Modern life means a lot of emissions. The only way you can get to a fictional net zero – a modern equivalent of the alchemist’s ambition to transform lead into gold – is by offsetting all emissions, yes all emissions, with matching reductions”.[1]

Making-it-happen:

Surely, the primary focus to facilitating change needs to be on “Making-It-Happen” so true value is both made available and actually experienced by the potential users.

Such a commitment to a changed attitude or behaviour in ‘making-it-happen’ is at the core of entrepreneurial behaviour and a demonstration of ‘entrepreneur-mindset’. Such an entrepreneur recognises an opportunity to solve a problem or mitigate a community need. The entrepreneur exercises their personal intuition, passion, boundless energy, and ability to harness the resources and vision necessary to deliver (makes-it-happen) the valued innovation to the user.


Adding value to Change:


By its very nature and purpose such action, adds value to the product or service which in turn is recognised by the potential user. (See image[2]). Drucker makes it clear that at this ‘exchange’ stage, and only then, such a value-acknowledged outcome is where true innovation occurs, not in the idea, invention, or research (although necessary to the outcome) but when the ‘user’ experiences the benefit of a valued outcome and ‘pays’ for it, which Drucker describes as “the sting in the tail”. “Innovation is the ‘tool’ of the entrepreneur”. [3] Simply put, this first recognition of an opportunity by the entrepreneur, followed by application and resources to turn the opportunity into a product or service, is then marketed so as to enable ‘users’ to appreciate the innovation and its value and so ‘purchase’ the product/service.


Intellectual, emotional, and spiritual Intelligence impact change:

Significantly, these entrepreneurs who deliver such change that is valued by the user/community will exhibit a cooperative leadership style, exercise intuitive decision making, demonstrate proactive behaviour, and with awareness of their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intelligence make-it-happen. This reality was appreciated by Albert Einstein who said:


“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – If you’re not changing, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re not being intelligent. Humans thrive in change and expansion — yet there can be so many internal or external blocks to change. [4]

Given that most social and cultural problems are complex, uncompromising, inflexible, unbending and with no single or linear solution they can be characterised as ‘wicked’ rather than ‘evil’. Unlike simpler problems (called ‘tame’) that may be solved by a quick fix based on logic, established engineering design or mathematical calculations, the ‘wicked’ problem, with its interconnected complexities, is deemed ''too large'' to fix, yet they plague governments, communities, and society. These include issues like climate change, aged care, education quality and diversity, financial crises, Covid pandemics, hunger, income disparity, obesity, poverty, terrorism, and sustainability.

Social entrepreneurial behaviour:

Entrepreneurs, by their very nature and mindset, are unconventional, look for opportunities within ‘wicked’ problems facing society, and then deliver added-value to users experiencing necessary changes within the new life-style.

One critical problem is coping with the community’s increasing waste production rather than sending it to land-fill. Richard Pratt (1934-2011) (see image), and one of Australia’s greatest entrepreneurs, said the best entrepreneurs are “unconventional but socially conscious.”

"They're often unreasonable," he adds. "And they're nearly always driven individuals, who drive and inspire others. They're driven by many things, including a willingness to take risks, restless problem-solving energy, an ability to live with uncertainty, a determination to prove the skeptics wrong, and a relentless persistence in the face of seeming failure.” [5] "I plead guilty to most of those descriptions, but I do so believing it's the entrepreneur and those he gathers around him who drive the real wealth of nations."


So what makes such driven people tick?

"It's the entrepreneurs who develop new technology, reinvent the workplace, and promote creativity and innovation," Richard Pratt says. "Individual motivations vary. But the best and most successful entrepreneurs are driven by a spirit of enterprise. Enterprise - not greed. Not even profits, although profits matter."


Case example: Adding value by reducing our environmental impact:

Visy Industries is a leading Australian privately-owned packaging and resource recovery company, with more than 120 sites across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia, and trading offices in Singapore and China. Visy employs around 5,000 people in Australia alone. The global Visy Group includes mirror operations in the USA that employ around 4,000 people.

Under Richard Pratt’s pioneering entrepreneurial leadership, and now by his son Anthony Pratt, innovation has driven Visy’s evolution as a circular business, beginning with the implementation of circular manufacturing some 35 years ago when Visy pioneered ways to incorporate waste materials into its paper and packaging manufacturing.

Kerbside recycling collects commingled recyclable materials from the household kerbside and has been well entrenched across Australian communities for several decades. In order to separate this commingled material into re-usable feedstock, it is necessary to process it through a Materials Recovery Factory (MRF). Visy receives and processes over 1 million tonnes per annum of kerbside recyclables (2017). This covers some 2.8 million households.

Visy is the only fully integrated packaging re-manufacturing company in Australia that has local demand for the majority of kerbside recyclables it processes. Visy has invested over $1.5 billion in recycling and re-manufacturing infrastructure since the late 1970s. A classic example of such innovation is Australia’s first and only 100% recycled plastics factory for food-grade plastics. The following diagram illustrates the case of plastics recycling, in which used plastic containers are converted to new purpose-designed plastic bottles using the concept of a “circular economy.” This is genuine, cost-effective, and profitable recycling, [6]

Summary:

Entrepreneurs, in both social and business ventures, are, by their very nature and the exercise of their entrepreneur-mindset, committed to bringing opportunities to effective and valued innovations. Indeed they ‘Make-It-Happen.”

Importantly, the delivery of such valued change amongst the users and community can be measured by the entrepreneur’s holistically integrated awareness of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intelligence to ‘Making-It-Happen.’


[1] Greg Sheridan, 2021, China, not the G7, is the real winner of Western climate politics, The Australian June 17, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/g7-falls-for-fantasy-that-we-control-emissions/news-story/cbfecae27771ffaa1df32c45da504c36

[2] Sirris Image, 2020, Looking for added value with smart connected, February 17, https://www.sirris.be/looking-added-value-smart-connected

[3] Peter Drucker, 1985, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, HarperCollins Publishers,

[4] Benjamin Hardy, 2018, How To Become More Intelligent (According to Einstein), https://medium.com/the-mission/if-youre-not-changing-as-a-person-then-you-re-not-intelligent-according-to-einstein-73ba950d99d5

[5] Richard Pratt, 2007, Pratt’s secrets to success, Herald Sun Newspaper, February 12, Melbourne

[6] Visy Industries, 2017, Waste and recycling industry in Australia Submission to the Senate Inquiry, https://www.aph.gov.au