Friday, 5 November 2010

Revolution from within

When I was writing about tree planting in Kenya, I was looking for the 10 Commandment of Intrapreneurship by Gifford Pinchot and found a different man profiled on Wikipedia.

He was the first chief of the United States forest service.  'Pinchot is known for reforming the management and development of forests in the United States and for advocating the conservation of the nation's reserves by planned use and renewal. He called it "the art of producing from the forest whatever it can yield for the service of man." Pinchot coined the term conservation ethic as applied to natural resources.'

Wrong Pinchot.  I was curious to know more about the present day Gifford Pinchot, who has contributed to so much to our ideas of innovating and creating change from within organisations.  It seems that the 2 men are part of a long line of Pinchots:  

'The Pinchot Perspective has been rather consistent for several generations. The rational greatest good for the greatest number in the long run cohabits strangely with a less rational but equally powerful reverence for nature, equality and adventure.
I long for a resilient, ecologically restorative and more egalitarian civilization. A resilient civilization is one that has great capacity to adapt to shocks, shortages, attacks and subsystem failures.'

He has also written about social justice and sutainability:

'Many people of color do not identify with the term sustainability because they don’t see any necessary connection between a systems ability to sustain itself  and overcoming racism. This is not surprising.  History suggests that racism and inequality can be sustained for a very long time......'

Pinchot's commandments are a thought provoking list for all of us stepping out on the road to introduce change and innovation:

  1. Come to work each day willing to be fired
  2. Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream
  3. Do any job needed to make your project work, regardless of your job description
  4. Find people to help you
  5. Follow your intuition about the people you choose, and work only with the best
  6. Work underground as long as you can – publicity triggers corporate immune mechanism
  7. Never bet on a race unless you are running it.
  8. Remember it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
  9. Be true to your goals, but be realistic about the ways to achieve them.
  10. Honor your sponsors.
The Kenyan tree planting women certainly started with 6 and worked through most of the list.

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