Andrew Thornton on saying goodbye to 2017

It’s been quite a year that we are saying goodbye to. What with Trump and his tweets, and from where I sit in London, watching the shambles of Brexit unfold. I was amused by the view of Deutschlandfunk commentator Peter Kapern, who described Brexit as, “the biggest political nonsense since the Roman emperor Caligula made his favourite horse a senator … Anyone who needed further proof of this thesis has received it today,” he wrote, referring to the last minute call to Theresa May by DUP Leader, Arlene Foster.

That about sums it up. In the world of Heart, our year has been one of steady progress forward. Thornton’s Budgens continues its journey.  Those who are regular readers will know that at the start of the year, our team chose ‘Self-Leadership’ as the area they most wanted to develop. Taking that desire to its logical conclusion, when our long-standing Store Manager retired in October, we decided to replace him with a Head Coach. So, my team will now get an even greater chance to step-up and build their confidence to thrive in their work.

We know from the Human Potential Assessment we undertook in January, we are currently using 64% of our potential. My target is that we get to 80%, and I believe that our Head Coach and a greater focus on Self-Leadership will help us get there.  Watch this space for when we measure it again, probably in summer/autumn 2018.

And 2017 was the year when we took our Heart work outside of Thornton’s Budgens. What I find really encouraging is the response of business leaders to our approach, particularly those who are prepared to give it a go.  With the publication of our case study,  HIBL – Driving Business from the Heart (23 July 2017), over the summer, I am finding the appetite for a different way growing.  It remains a big shift from the ‘profit focused’ norm of most businesses.  More and more leaders see the old way isn’t working anymore.

Once we get started, it is a joy to see business leaders responding to our coaching and collectively working on different ways of being.  And seeing those ‘aha moments’ where huge shifts occur.  For Thornton’s Budgens, our ‘aha moment’ was when the team chose ‘self-leadership’ as the way forward – life will never be the same again.

I’ve always had the view that this work would be equally effective in third-sector organisations and we are getting the chance to prove that through our work with an Arts’ College in London.  They recognise that with ever reducing public funding, their business model is broken.  The first step on that journey is to align their individual purposes to that of the organisation and galvanise behind a new ‘heart-centred’ vision.

And finally, Heart in Business Limited became a B.Corp in July of this year.  I feel very connected to this community of businesses that are focused on meeting the needs of all stakeholders and not just shareholders.

I am hopeful that, in 2018, the Heart message will continue to spread and the wisdom of this approach be seen by Leaders who can make a difference.

I wish you and your families a fun festive time and a heartful 2018!

With heart

Andrew Isaac Thornton