How the Mighty Have Fallen

All through the sapling days
Of dark and dappling haze
You stretched for skies
Of perfect blue

Up to refracted rays
All through protracted days
You reached for highs
And so you grew

Until you broke the night
At last unyoked the light
Like living prose
You stood so tall

Until the gale’s grey might
Ripped through your sail’s green height
And as you rose
So did you fall

Wayne Visser © 2008

Book

Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

Gentle Storm

Upon a clear and frosty autumn morn
I found myself caught in a gentle storm
No lightening flashed across the azure sky
No thunder rolled and all the ground was dry
No rain or snow, no whisper of a breeze
And yet a shower fell beneath the trees

Swooping and swirling
Drifting and diving
Wafting and weaving
Floating and flirting

And while the leaf-drops all around me fell
I stood entranced by nature’s silent spell
Kaleidoscopic colours filled the air
And mesmerised, all I could do was stare
A light-and-motion dance that left me high
A tempest raging quiet as a sigh

Wayne Visser © 2005

Book

Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

A Future Worth Fighting For

“This is war!”
So my son tells me
And my daughter agrees
But I have some questions
I don’t really like wars
Or making enemies
So tell me …

If this is war
What are we fighting for?

We are fighting for the earth:
For the birds of the air
And the fish of the sea
For the sick in the villages
And the hungry in the cities

If this is war
Where are the battlefields?

The planet is our battlefield:
The smoky plains of the skies
And the murky streams of the oceans
The burning lungs of the forests
And the aching hearts of the people

If this is war
Who is the enemy?

The enemy is our separation:
Hiding behind fences of politics
And sheltering in dugouts of religion
Lurking under shadows of economics
And camouflaged in masks of progress

If this is war
Who are our allies?

Our allies are ordinary people:
The luminous tribes of the South
And the caring villages of the North
The rising tides in the East
And the changing winds in the West

If this is war
What are the weapons?

The weapons are our faith:
Our fortress of courage to hope
And our bedrock of belief in justice
Our wellspring of creativity for solutions
And our fire of passion for change

If this is war
Where is the battle?

The battle is where you are:
Around the fires of your homesteads
And the tables of your boardrooms
In the aisles of your supermarkets
And on the wires of your networks

If this is war
Who are the losers?

The losers are prejudice and vice:
For judgement is the father of fear
And power is the mother of pride
For hatred is the child of ignorance
And greed is the orphan of isolation

If this is war
Who are the winners?

The winners are life and love:
For diversity flourishes with freedom
And hope blooms with compassion
For development spreads with peace
And purpose calls to us all

This is war then!
So my children tell me
And I for one believe them
I still don’t like the talk of battles
But I think they are right
The future – their future –
Is worth fighting for

Wayne Visser © 2007

Book

Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

Nature Knows

When all the world seems upside down
The fool’s on the hill
The king is a clown
When headline news loud-speaks the views
Of puppeteers of fears
And naysayers of the truth
When leaders’ voices are hollow choices
Of dumb-down beats of tweets
And two-fingers to the youth
Take a step back from the black
And white, the stereotype
The media hype, the Trumptown blues
And choose a world of hues
From greens to greys, and reds to browns
The rounds of seasons, synchro-reasons
Of sun and moon, the tune
Of vitality that sprouts and grows
The harmony, the symphony, the flows
That nature knows

When all the roads seem nowhere bound
The signs contradict
The noise has no sound
When every maze just adds to the craze
Of shallow aims in games
And hamster wheels for jobs
When Wall Street belies, in suits and ties
Their ugly creed of greed
And clever ways to rob
Take a deep breath, defy the death
Of hope, the hangman’s rope
The doomsday dope, the victim’s shoes
And choose a forest of clues
Of roots and shoots
From seeds to stems, and buds to leaves
The trees of jungles, the rumbles
Of beast and storm, the dawn
Of light and flight and lucent bows
The illumination, the revelation, the glows
That nature shows

When all that’s lost can scarce be found
The love swept away
The faith nearly drowned
When silent strings, like broken wings
Leave empty spaces in places
Where music once soared
When prophets’ words sound more absurd
Than the Mad Hatter’s patter
And the Jabberwocky’s chord
Take a great leap, take time to reap
What you have sown, from flesh and bone
From mind clone and idea muse
And choose an earthscape of dos
Not don’ts and won’ts
But cans and wills, and better stills
The thrills of striving, life thriving
Through trial and error, through terror
To yellow dreams and scarlet rose
The magnificence, the intelligence, the prose
That nature knows

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

Art – Nature

Click on the thumbnail images to view the pictures in the gallery

Share this page

Share

Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture:

Are Social Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Blog by Wayne Visser

Part 7 of 13 in the Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

What do Taddy Blecher, Anurag Gupta, Wang Chuan-Fu and all of the other social entrepreneurs have in common? Is this a special breed of human being? Are social entrepreneurs born or can they be made? In the academic literature, there is an interesting thread of research that is around the concept of ‘champions’ in organisations, especially ‘environmental champions’. The idea draws on prior conceptions of the human resources champion in the 1970s and 1980s, before HR became institutionalised.

Academics define environmental champions as people who can attractively express a personal vision about environmental protection that is in tune with both industry’s needs and wider public concern and who convince and enable organisation members to turn environmental issues into successful corporate programs and innovations. Environmental champions have been showed to imbue a combination of characteristics, including being a catalyst, champion, sponsor, facilitator and demonstrator. Their skills include the ability to identify, package and sell environmental issues within their organisations.  Their effectiveness in engaging others rests heavily on expertise, top management support and a strong appreciation for the problems that every business unit or operations manager faces.

Research on champions is not confined purely to the environmental dimension of sustainability. Others have written about socially responsible change-agents, as well as managers’ individual discretion as a component of corporate social performance. British academic Christine Hemingway, for example, finds that CSR can be the result of championing by a few managers, based on their personal values and beliefs, despite the personal and professional risks this may entail. Individual managers are also often mediators in corporate philanthropy and stakeholder influence. Hence, the notion of CSR champions has emerged as an important concept, which I will return to this in the final blog on individual change agents.

Bill Drayton, who has been involved in selecting and tracking the progress of the 2,700 Ashoka Fellows, believes social entrepreneurs ‘focus everyday on the “how to” questions. How are they going to get from here to their ultimate goal? How are they going to deal with this opportunity or that barrier? How are the pieces going to fit together? They are engineers, not poets. … The entrepreneur’s job is not to take an idea and then implement it. That is what franchisees do. The entrepreneur is building something that is entirely new – by constantly creating and testing and recreating and then testing and recreating again’ …

Continue reading

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”download” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.waynevisser.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/blog_nature_nurture_wvisser.pdf”]Pdf[/button] Nature vs Nurture (blog)

Related websites

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”tick” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.csrinternational.org”]Link[/button] CSR International (website)

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”tick” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.waynevisser.com/books/the-age-of-responsibility”]Link[/button] The Age of Responsibility (book)

Cite this blog

Visser, W. (2012) Nature vs. Nurture: Are Social Entrepreneurs Born or Made, Wayne Visser Blog Briefing, 20 March 2012.

Share this page

Share

Productivity Through Interdependence

Productivity Through Interdependence:

Heeding the Lessons of Nature

Article by Wayne Visser

In our modern economies and businesses, unlimited growth is constantly striven for, institutionalised, almost idolised.  We hold it up as the measure of success.  Yet, by doing this, we could be sowing the seeds of our own destruction.  We know this because in nature, unlimited physical growth is almost nowhere to be seen.

When it does occur, we call it cancer, or imminent species collapse, or ecosystem decline.  Also, we are already seeing many of the signs of exceeding what environmental scientist Donella Meadows called ‘the limits to growth’.

Growth in Nature

In his visionary book on the evolution of life (The Awakening Earth), scientist and business author Peter Russell makes the critical observation that, while exponential growth does frequently occur in nature, it always levels off into an S-shaped curve as soon as a harmonious and life-supporting situation has been reached.  What actually happens is that quantitative growth is always superseded by qualitative growth after a healthy infrastructure has been established.  Our own human growth patterns are testimony to this.  US ecological economist Herman Daly extends this principle to the economy, suggesting that a distinction needs to be made between traditional economic growth (typically measured by Gross National Product), and holistic development.

According to Daly, ‘growth’ means a quantitative increase in the scale of the physical dimensions of the economy, while ‘development’ means the qualitative improvement in the structure, design and composition of the physical stocks of wealth that results from greater knowledge, both of technique and of purpose.

A growing economy is getting bigger; a developing economy is getting better.  In a business context, impetus for this change has already been provided by MIT Professor Peter Senge’s concept of a ‘learning organisation’ and World Business Academy fellows Willis Harman and John Hormann’s notion of Creative Work, in which “employment exists primarily for self development, and is only secondarily concerned with the production of goods and services.”

Practically, this shift away from blind growth will only occur as companies begin to value, measure and integrate qualitative dimensions into their strategic planning, operations and public reporting processes.  Two excellent tools for achieving this are the Balanced Scorecard and Social Auditing.

Productivity in Nature

Another common misconception about Nature is the dominance of competition in its processes – the so-called ‘survival of the fittest’ adage.  In fact, in nature, competition is the exception and cooperation and symbiotic relationships are the rule.  The principle incorrectly ascribed to Darwin could more appropriately read ‘survival of the species best adapted or integrated within their dynamic environment’.  Size, strength or physical agility are seldom the best survival qualities (remember the dinosaurs?).

Among the unsung prophets of the 20th century who first described the dynamic complexity of Nature in these terms was former South African Prime Minister, Jan Smuts.  His Theory of Holism was the precursor to modern day Living Systems Theory, which Fritjof Capra has subsequently applied to the economy and Peter Senge has applied to business organisations.  According to their observations, the key to productivity is synergy – creating the cooperative relationships which …

Continue reading

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”download” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.waynevisser.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/article_lessons_nature_wvisser.pdf”]Pdf[/button] Productivity Through Interdependence (article)

Related websites

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”tick” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.csrinternational.org”]Link[/button] CSR International (website)

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”info” new_window=”false” link=”http://www.waynevisser.com/books/business-frontiers”]Page[/button] Business Frontiers (book)

Cite this article

Visser, W. (1998) Productivity through Interdependence: Heeding the Lessons of Nature. Earthyear, Edition 17, June.

Share this page

Share
Share
Share