By Susan Davis, founder, KINSinnovation.org
Over the last 35 years, I have worked with enlightened business leaders, philanthropists and financiers to create a breakthrough innovation method. It has proved dramatically quicker, less expensive, higher impact and more fun than other methods, but it has not spread. One reason is that the leaders have been servant leaders who sought to lead without taking credit. Secondly, the method uses an approach for manifesting that is the opposite of the traditional business approach, so it was too counter-cultural to be noticed.
Let me explain. In business, we are taught to use our minds to gather information, to analyze it to create a strategic plan and then to implement the strategic plan. In using our method, we teach people how to come from their hearts into their imaginations and co-create inventive sustainability solutions with each other and the unknown.
We call these groups KINS Innovation Networks (KINSinnovation.org) and they have served to create the new industries of social venture capital (Investors Circle), microenterprise in Nigeria (Growing Businesses Network), the family office industry (Harris Family Office Conference), womens’ business ownership (Committee of 200), womens’ leadership (The Chicago Network) and mainstream social investing (“Making A Profit While Making A Difference”), among others.
To understand the big difference between traditional business plans and KINS, consider the KINS operating principles, so in contrast to business as usual:
- Our strategy is generosity and our intention is wonder.
- A deal is a good deal when it is good for all concerned, including the Earth.
- Members contribute what they love to do and do well and little else, in heart-based rather than mind-based behavior.
- Every member comes from widely-diverse sectors
- The members sit at the table of unknowing and co-create the plan with each other, inviting ‘child mind.’ All spiritual beliefs and religions are honored.
- Given the members’ diversity, they agree that, when they feel upset, they will go within and ask what within them is asking to be healed.
- Everyone has equal time at the mike.
- All information is available to all the members all the time.
- Cutting-edge information from members’ widely diverse constituencies are shared confidentially, building trust among members.
So you can see why traditional financiers and business leaders would look down on such a heart-based approach…particularly in finance, where we focused!
In August of 2012, I offered the first ever “Teaching KINS” event in Ecuador, attended by a dozen interested folks who wanted to start KINS networks to fulfill their personal missions. One attendee, Marilyn Levin, founder of the Global Sufficiency Network, was so taken with KINS that she decided to fulfill on her life mission through KINS. Leaping into the unknown, she began working without pay to spread KINS Innovation Networks.
This inspired me to ask myself how KINS could best spread if only 20 networks had manifested in 35 years. The answer was to turn to better minds and spiritual practices than my own. Last December, my company, CapitalMissions.com, gifted KINS to our favorite environmental non-profit, Green America (GreenAmerica.org). Happily KINS is now spreading widely after a $100,000 grant to fund the Spreading KINS Networks division at Green America.
We had no road map but we invoked the KINS principles of sitting at the table of the unknown. This led, as is usual for KINS, to one serendipity after another including creating an informational website http://KINSinnovation.org and creating six professional informational videos. We also helped spearhead a KINS to bring higher consciousness into play in investing. Most recently, we are partnering on a KINS to create goals which could inspire a hundred million Americans to invest environmentally. See the related conference agenda at:
Best of all, we realized that the people KINS can help the most are philanthropists who wish to use their funds to manifest their own life missions. Once you focus on your life purpose, doing what you love to do and do well, there is really nothing you would rather spend your money on.
We began describing KINS to philanthropists we knew, exploring with them how KINS could help them. We decided to create a KINS for philanthropists manifesting their missions and we held our first meeting in September. It consisted of weekly phone calls at no cost to anyone and we quickly fell into a soul-to-soul relationship with each other using the KINS principles. Now we are enjoyably exploring how each of us can leverage our missions with each other’s.
Examples of some of the philanthropists’ missions are:
- I am anchoring social innovation and environmental entrepreneurship successfully in Ecuador
- I am mobilizing the collaborative strength of consumers, investors & businesses to attract 100 million people into environmental investing to massively disrupt the current definition of wealth.
- I am creating a world governed by CARE FIRST
- I am igniting women’s “heart-soul” entrepreneurship to transform businesses globally.
- I am creating an independent economic nation among the indigenous Haida tribe.
- I am fostering partnership for peace in Israel/Palestine.
- I am supporting Tampa Bay’s conscious sustainability initiative and linking it to Orlando
- May the rivers of wealth be undammed and flow freely over the earth.
Best of all, we are designing how to use the “Pay It Forward” strategy to fund KINS going forward, so that each group of philanthropists pays for the next group rather than themselves.
If you’d like to leverage your work with any of these missions or to be in a KINS for philanthropists, contact me at: cmcdavis2 (at) gmail.com
You can hear stories of the results of KINS Innovation Networks over the last 35 years by listening in to The SHIFT Network’s Healthy Money Summit on Thursday, November 7th. There will be 4 topics - Transforming Financial Education, Women Transforming Finance, Transforming Sustainability to Thrivability and Philanthropists Transforming Finance and the World.
KINS innovation networks have been key to these initiatives to transform finance and you’ll hear many stories about them from the speakers.
To join us and enjoy them without charge, click here.
Susan Davis left a Division Administrator position for Harris Bank’s Personal Trust Group after nine years to start Capital Missions Company (CMC) in June of 1990. CMC created an innovation method highly effective in social investing and other niches of sustainability using principles of generosity and trust. From 1965 to 1979, Susan helped start five social ventures: Boston’s black newspaper under publisher Melvin Miller (1965); an urban affairs publishing firm under John Naisbitt (1968); the country’s first minority enterprise publication (1969); the first national publication for working women (1969); and ShoreBank Corp. (1973). Susan launched the Development Deposit Program at ShoreBank (now Urban Partnership Bank) as one of first US “cause-related marketing programs.”
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This article appears in:
2013 Catalyst - Issue 19