A book review, Carol Sanford, The Regenerative Business

I’ve been a leader in a Developmental Learning Organization for more than a decade and although we’ve been recognized as an innovator in the world of developmental businesses, Carol shows me that we’ve only just begun! I’m shifting to include Carol’s regenerative work design approach because it’s comprehensive, coherent, consistent, and grounded in a paradigm that is needed for our times.

Carol’s system covers all the aspects of creating a long-lived thriving business: strategy, operations, culture, and development. Under the impulse of an evolutionary pull, organizations can design integrated business and personal developmental processes that energize the entire system.

Grounded in the seven principles of regeneration, Carol’s systemic approach provides a coherent way of understanding and engaging with complex organizational systems. Every idea, process, framework, and activity consistently emerges from the belief that all life has a unique value-adding role to play in larger systems. Both humans and organizations are called to develop new capacities and capabilities in order to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

All of this is embedded in a paradigm that matches my own understanding and experience of how the world actually works. I have been dedicated to building organizations that are focused on development, purpose, and meaning. But I’ve been missing that I could actually be designing for life itself — creating workplaces that come alive by bringing life to our customers and communities, while allowing each of us to becoming more ourselves.

If you are not ready to abandon your current way of thinking about how a business should operate and what the purpose of development is, this book is not for you. But if you are eager to challenge your assumptions about how to redesign your organization’s strategy, operations, culture, and development processes, this book can help you grow your business to a completely different stage, while being highly rewarding personally.