My Personal MBA – Circular Economy – A Contrarian Approach

Personal MBA Circular Economy

I have started looking forward to 2018, as I have successfully completed my three priorities for 2017. At work, I am loving the impact I am having as a Change Agent, removing and improving legacy processes and issues. To avoid the balance fallacy, I went down to a 4-day working week, when I extended my contract. This allows me the head-space and capacity to work towards something bigger, something more meaningful, something more significant.

I see this greater purpose as what I am currently branding as the pursuit of Quality Abundance. People who work with me, will know that I see solutions quickly, then crucially I act decisively with conviction. I realise that I have knowledge and experience gaps, there will always be, still, I want to plug as many as I can, as effectively as possible.

I am concerned about solely following the thinking of a traditional MBA and started looking at alternative options. I know that the same thinking that has got this world into a system of extreme waste…Consumption, Growth, Competition…won’t get us out of it.  I want to explore the cutting edge of contrarian thinking. The world is screwed if it stays on it’s current trajectory, I want to be part of what is potentially the only chance we have, a shift from the Linear Economy to the Circular Economy.

First Principles – What do I want to get out of it

I know it needs to be wholistic, I also know that I can be more superficial in certain areas. This is as I am a Chartered Accountant, I am Lean Certified, I have two degrees in Economics, as well as one in Industrial Relations. I have a decade’s worth of experience in the Corporate world, working in Risk, Process, Change and Transformation Projects. I have read broadly and extensively in the past few years.

I have investigated various MBAs, the altMBA. the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Personal MBA to help source and refine my very own Personal MBA prospectus. One designed for me, taking into account what I have done and what I intend to do.

In my view there are 3 things I would want to get from an MBA where privileged people potentially spend a fortune to enable the prospect of a greater fortune, through:

  • Practical Knowledge and Experience – Access to information was restricted in the past. In the Digital Age, it is more accessible. We can get access to cutting edge thinkers. I will do this through focused and intensive reading, backed up with documenting learnings from each book. Too many books are read to be enjoyed and forgotten. I will do specific projects to match the learnings and document my previous projects.
  • Quality Network – This will be more difficult to scaffold in. I will do this through my practical projects. I expect this to be the greatest gap and will have to think of ways to supplement this.
  • Credibility – As per Seth Godin, the MBA is a prestigious piece of paper. It proves you have learned something, it filters out a lot of people. In my approach, everything I do will leave a trail. A footprint. I will continue to blog my journey with key takeaways from each book and learnings from each project.

The Personal MBA – Circular Economy – Prospectus

The prospectus is to ensure my approach is structured and accountable. I will continue to refine it and ensure that I document all aspects. This will entrench the knowledge gained, give greater clarity and a deeper understanding.

Preparation: – 4Q17

K-Foundation phase – Broad Reading, Productivity, Focus and Core Skills – 1/2Q18

    • Practical – Ongoing – Quality Abundance – Turn this into a real force for change
    • Knowledge – W/C 07/01/18 – 10 Days to Faster Reading – When we learn to read, we are also learning the words, so we read every word. Continuing to read like this, is a bit like looking at every brick in a building to see what the building looks like. Read my thoughts here.
    • Practical – W/C 07/01/18 – Kiva Loan – While looking for an ethically conscious ways, to allocate (my limited) capital such as investing through Trine, I was introduced to Kiva by Amanda.
    • Knowledge – W/C 14/01/18 – Personal MBA – I love this book. Of course I do. It is perfectly aligned to my mindset, principles and ethos. The Personal part of the title deserves more emphasis. This book should be mandatory for everyone who works, the less relevant sections to the individual are short enough to be skimmed. Read my thoughts here.
    • Practical – W/C 21/01/18 – Using Bulb (Referral link) as an Energy Service provider – Is Bulb really “making energy simpler, cheaper, greener”? – Yip. Read my thoughts here.
    • Knowledge – W/C 28/01/18 – On Writing Well – It is a neglected skill. With technology, good writers have become better, grappling with every sentence. At the same time, bad writers have become prolific. We can and should be better. Read my thoughts here.
    • Practical – W/C 28/01/18 – Anchor.fm – I am more drawn to the medium of the written word, there is a comfort to it, an anonymity, no one needs to know the hours spent crafting a few sentences, like a masquerade ball, people only see the output. When Robbie encouraged me to give Anchor a go, I was more than a little reluctant. My thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 04/02/18 – Presentation Zen – I present regularly, I’m probably better than most. That doesn’t mean I am any good. I’ve seen plenty of presentations, few that have been excellent. I want to be better. My thoughts.
    • Practical – W/C 04/02/18 Document my experience using Mindful Chef who target 0% food waste model.
    • Knowledge – W/C 11/02/18 – Show me the Numbers – First understand the story, then the message and then take time to consider how to convey that message. Always asking how will the information be used. My thoughts.
    • Practical – W/C 11/02/18 – Cryptocurrencies, social business and crowdfunding – Learning more about the crypto world, with a view to invest in Acorn. Read about my experience – New to Cryptocurrencies – But I wanted to buy Acorn the Social Business Crowdfunder
    • Practical – Waste experiment – Three weeks of waste – Originally I was going to do this sequentially, but I realise that waste is built up (e.g. already have in the fridge), I need to let those run down and take action in between.
      • 11/02/18 – First week I’ll monitor the waste I generate and come up with targeted solutions. See the result of my experiment here.
      • TBC – Second week I’ll see how this has impacted
    • Knowledge – W/C 18/02/18 – Re-create your life – The Lefkoe Method is a powerful tool for behavioural change. It has already helped me on a personal level and I plan to use it for organisational change. My thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 25/02/18 – The Art of Exceptional Living – My new number 1 personal development resource. Read my thoughts here.
    • Practical – W/C 25/02/18 GDPR – It’s not all exciting. Read my thoughts here.
    • Practical – W/C 04/03/18 – Document my lessons from projects, I started and failed (learnt from), using an iterative learning. – Upgrowth – Failed – Using a moment of inspiration. Read my thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 04/03/18 – Think and Grow Rich – A classic in priming the mind towards wealth. Read my thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 18/03/18 – A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring – We are all mentoring, whether we realise it or not. It is important for us to display the right behaviour and these should be anchored in our principles. My thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 25/03/18 – Tools of Titans – A brilliant book to be skimmed and then read carefully where relevant. My thoughts.
    • Practical – W/C 01/04/18 – Life Experiment: Becoming More Conscious in My Spending – 21 Days Frugal – A personal part of the Personal MBA, the second part of the wealth formula – become more valuable, spend less than you earn, make your money work wisely for you.
    • Knowledge – W/C 08/04/18 – How to Win Friends and Influence People – My takeaway in a sentence – Be polite and positive, as well as realise being right and helpful are not the same, no one wins an argument. My thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 15/04/18 – The Richest Man in Babylon – This should be mandatory reading for all those who enter the working world, with a refresher every 5-10 years. My thoughts.
    • Practical – W/C 15/04/18 – I realised that it actually unnecessarily inconvenient to be eco-friendly while commuting. I decided to design a back-pack that solved this.
    • Knowledge – W/C 22/04/18 – Crucial Conversations – It is not about winning hard negotiations, it is about winning what you want. My thoughts
    • Knowledge & Experience – W/C 22/04/18 – The Morning Miracle – I missed the feeling of waking up with energy. Ready to attack the day. I was already eating and sleeping better, I was exercising. Something was still missing. My thoughts.
    • Knowledge – W/C 29/04/18 – Brain Rules – We know very little about the brain. Or rather, we know quite a lot, but there is so much to know, that we know relatively very little. There are 12 rules. My thoughts.

K-Growth Phase – Creativity and Mindset & Changing the World – 2/3Q18

  • Knowledge – W/C 20/05/18 – Steal Like An Artist – This is now one of my favourite books, simple, with a beautiful rhythm, everyone should read it. My thoughts.
  • Knowledge – W/C 27/05/18 – The War of Art -Resistance is self-generated, from within. It is stopping us fulfilling some dream or purpose. Paradoxically, resistance is a compass pointing to our true North, as it forms where we should be heading. –  My thoughts.
  • Practical – W/C 03/06/18 – Go Electric – Importing affordable Electric Bicycles to South Africa.
  • Knowledge – W/C 17/06/18 – Plan-A_The-Transformation-of-Argentina´s-Economy – This is a brilliant practical application of circular economics on a country level. I used the lens of how I would apply this to South Africa, with it’s similar diversity and challenges. It was encouraging to see multiple South African examples used.
  • Knowledge – W/C 24/06/18 – Abundance – It has never been a better time to be alive, we are on the cusp of abundance and prosperity, but it is certainly not inevitable.
  • Knowledge – W/C 01/07/18 – The Blue Economy 3.0 – The most comprehensive and integrated understanding of how we need to re-imagine our thinking. Regenerative should be the minimum starting point, we need to look at cascading business models.
  • Knowledge – W/C 08/07/18 – Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Patterns of the Planet) – Emerging thought in design and purchasing use, not products.
  • Knowledge – W/C 15/07/18 – How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything – Fascinating walk through the impact certain life decisions make on our carbon footprint. With Methane 25X more impactful than carbon dioxide and Nitrous Oxide 300X. Dairy is bad, flying is bad, oddly, from a carbon perspective, because plastic doesn’t degrade, it actually is better than paper bags, of course nothing is in isolation. Local and seasonal also helps.

K-Consolidation Phase – Creating the business, Management and teamwork & Building the Business – 3/4Q18

  • Knowledge – W/C 30/07/18 – A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It’s Everyone’s Business
  • Knowledge – W/C 06/08/18 – Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future – Ashlee Vance
  • Knowledge – W/C 13/08/18 – Zero to One
  • Knowledge – W/C 13/08/18 – The Essays of Warren Buffett
  • Knowledge – W/C 20/08/18 – Conspiracy of Fools
  • Knowledge – W/C 27/08/18 – Bold
  • Knowledge – W/C 03/09/18 – Growth Hacker Marketing
  • Knowledge – W/C 10/09/18 – Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules
  • Knowledge – W/C 17/09/18 – Brain Audit
  • Knowledge – W/C 24/09/18 – The Idealist
  • Focus – Complete Darren Hardy’s Insane Productivity
  • Knowledge – W/C 01/10/18 – Playing to Win
  • Knowledge – W/C 08/10/18 – Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
  • Knowledge – W/C 05/11/18 – Secrets of power negotiation – audio version – Tim Ferris recommendation
  • Knowledge – W/C 12/11/18 – Rebirth of the Salesman: The World of Sales is Evolving. Are You? – Cian McLoughlin
  • Knowledge – W/C 26/11/18 – Ready, Fire, Aim – Michael Masterson
  • Knowledge – W/C 03/12/18 – Getting Things Done – David Allen

After a period of self discovery in his early 30s exploring topics from Financial Planning to Meditation, Dave asked himself why he only now discovered some of the key critical ideas that lead to a happier, more purposeful, less stressful life. In short more successful.Why wasn’t this taught earlier? He had given away his time in his 20s cheaply. He is determined help others fast track their way to success through coaching, blogging and courses in the academy.He reads extensively and is coached by the best, this is coupled with life experience and degrees in Financial Economics, as well as being a Chartered Accountant.See what he is doing now - http://smarturl.it/DC-Now

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