Posts Tagged ‘activist’

Look at her run

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

She’s young. She’s passionate. She’s an environmentalist. Her ecological ideas feel a bit out of place in the conservative bank where she works, but she doesn’t care. That’s her passion. Every Thursday night, she goes to the local movie theater to participate in the meetings of the sustainability group she’s part of. She wants to change the world, just from where she is.

She’s also a triathlete. She can swim, run and bike faster than anyone around her. She shrugs her shoulders when the conversation moves to the local soccer team and the thousands of people they attract every week. “Have you ever attended a track and field meeting she asks us?” None of us has. She describes the excitement of having so many things going on in the stadium at any one time: watch a race, then focus on a pole-vaulter clearing the bar or watch a javelin fly across the field. I feel like signing up.

I ‘m having lunch with a group of bank advisors, between a morning and an afternoon workshop session. I’m sitting next to this young bank advisor, and I feel young again. She operates in a small town that does not quite fit the community-building scheme we have devised, so we make lame excuses about not having enough resources to support her in her small town. She just ignores our objections. We rapidly understand that any resistance is futile. She wants to get involved in this co-creation project, and we will help her.

So we agree to run a workshop with the customer she’s identified. I am long gone by the time the workshop happens, but I get an account a couple of weeks later. Between her client and herself, they have mapped out what the community should do, how the bank should get involved and how everybody would benefit. The community is building itself. One of my colleagues calls me at the end of her day in Europe to give me the news. No need for deep analytics, or motivational speech. All we have to do is watch her run. It’s hard to know who’s more excited — the customer, the young bank advisor, the consultants or the banks’ management.

Why didn’t it happen before? She was there all along. All we did was give her a platform. Her passion is now channeled through her job. She’s become a business activist. I know she’ll run far and drag thousands of people with her. I will be rooting from afar.