Every Mother Counts, gDiapers

Every Mother Count’s “No Mother’s Day” campaign

Christy Turlington’s non-profit, Every Mother Counts has taken celebrating Mother’s Day in a different direction this year. She is asking Mums to be silent for the day to recognize women globally who put their lives at risk during the birth process due to lack of food, water, transportation and medical expertise.
Predictably in the shiny, happy “reality” we live in where the day should be all Hallmark, all the time, there has been some resistance to this! Stay strong CTB!


Facing Adversity

We at g have spent the better part of the year working on some bigger thinking while running the business. It's a busy time and the demands of doing the day to day and doing this deeper work are significant.(Thus no time to blog or Facebook)

The work is uncomfortable and confronting and that is the very point of it. We live in a world that is out of control and yet we create a structure to make sense of it, much of it a delusion. Human nature is to move toward the comfortable. Stick to the diet or demolish a box of Voodoo donuts? By shining a light on that delusion and really seeing how we are when we face the discomfort is an opportunity to grow. We have created our own adversity through this work and are growing because of it.

The management team headed out to the Oregon coast for a 2 day retreat this week. Expectations were high for an experience that would move the dialogue forward. We arrived to find the rental house in disrepair. A hockey team had rented it prior to us and had destroyed the place. Cleaners took hours cleaning it all up so we lost a chunk of the first morning. And there was our first teacher. How do we deal with this type of unexpected adversity? Do we let it rule us or do we rule it? We reacted to it one way initially (negatively) and then saw that there was an opportunity to rise above it. Get senior to it. So we did and the retreat was a great success.

Meanwhile back at gHQ another setback had struck. A washing machine in an upstair neighbour's place was stuck on the fill cycle and they had left for the day. When Karen arrived at work she called to say it was raining in the office. There was water all over the place.  The daycare downstairs closed for the day. It was havoc momentarily and then the troops got to it. The landlord was called and carpet was ripped up to be inspected and dehumidifiers installed. The place stank so folks relocated to other spaces or worked from home. There was much to complain about but that doesn't help the situation and so the team soldiered on.

As a friend from years ago said to me when we started gDiapers, life is 99% about how we respond to it. The bigger work is helping us do just that and a whole lot more. It's also teaching us to dwell more and do less. To respond after a time rather than react in the moment. I'm looking forward to the results.


Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference in Laguna Niguel, CA

The view from the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.

After a weekend in Portland, I was back on a plane this morning and heading south to Laguna Niguel to join friends Seth Goldman who founded Honest Tea and Adam Lowry who founded Method on a panel at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference here. We are talking about small challenger brands, taking on mass brands. Should be good. 

There is a curious disconnect between the objectives of the Conference – bringing Fortune 100 leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators together to advance sustainability at a property as massive and unsustainable as the Ritz Carlton. I see a connection between this juxtaposition and the fact that for a solid 20 years a mere 15% of Americans regard themselves as "green" consumers. Are the remaining 85% somewhat cynical perhaps?! Will investigate!



Meanwhile back at the ranch…

…the business keeps on keeping on. This week we had a big project that needed an all-team effort. Tricky given Spring Break and a lot of us out of the office. These hardy souls kept the wheels turning however. Thanks Karen for the co-ordination of it all, Heather, Kelli, Harvey , Kate and Andi! It almost looks like they could knock out a Rogers & Hammerstein tune here…

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The view from gHQ Sydney

We have just completed our first week of work from gHQ Sydney. We are down here getting our US work visas renewed and wanted to test drive working US hours from here. The gTeam tell me that it has worked well. Having a 24/7 Skype connection means they can just drop into the Board Room and say hello, ask a question etc. It means pre-dawn starts to the day but we wrap by 10am Sydney time and then have the day with the kids.

Happily the visa renewal went off without a hitch. It happens every two years and each time the rules change a bit and you are never quite sure. This time around the interviewer was a Mum of a 15 month old, knew all about gDiapers and was quite the chatty Cathy. She was going to go tell her friend that she had met some of the gFamily. We then started rabbiting on about the TV series "Portlandia" and she mentioned her other friend who works in Sam Adams office and is stinging for a cameo. "Oh, and by the way your visas have been renewed".

We met with the inventor of g's, Sue yesterday. She takes such a wonderfully simple approach to product design and there are many new things in the hopper. She has done an incredible job working with councils here to have her product accepted in kerbside composting programs. Yo, America…when are you going to follow suit??

The kids have been doing homework with my Mum much to their chagrin and then ducking off down to the beach for a wave afterwards. They have enjoyed catching up with their Sydney mates while we wait for passports to be mailed to us. Please Australia Post, don't stuff up…we are off on our Spring Break next week and that will be hard to do without visas and passports.