shiftalliance blog

‘Meaningful Business Model Design’ STRATEGIC PLANNING intensive

STRATEGIC PLANNING intensive – 6 class ONLINE series


Meaningful Business Model Design


August 14-30, TUES & THURS, 8:00-9:30 am PDT (15:00 GMT)


September 10-26, MON & WED, 3:00-4:30 p.m. PDT (22:00 GMT)



Calling start-up founders, social enterprises & leaders of new projects or initiatives. Are you:


  • Wanting to be more strategic in your day-to-day efforts?
  • Looking for new meaningful innovation ideas to engage your customers and team?
  • Wanting to be an industry leader in creating and communicating your meaningful, positive social and environmental impact through your work?
  • Looking for ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors?


Leading a company, new initiative, or a team day-to-day is full of challenges and complexity. Often times it’s hard to know where to begin and where to focus your attention to receive the greatest impact. Or, in fast changing environments, it can feel nearly impossible to communicate and keep the core values, culture, and strategic focus aligned as you’re bringing many new people onboard. Sometimes you just need to stop and assess the bigger picture.


shiftalliance has a process, tool, and plan to help YOU find the answers


shiftalliance® has developed a unique methodology and software, m2∞, to provide the essential processes and tools needed for sustainable innovation and Meaningful Business Model Design. m2∞, or meaningful to the infinite degree, will help you:  


  • Discover gaps or weaknesses in your current business plan
  • Identify opportunities for growth & meaningful innovation
  • Introduce sustainability into your business using a unique, holistic approach
  • Give your employees a structure for creative and fresh idea generation
  • Identify cost savings designs in the areas of process and people
  • Empower employees and partners with knowledge about the big picture
  • Give you leadership confidence, knowing how all the parts fit together.


cost: 6 x 90-minute sessions, including workbook, curriculum & assignments: $499.

optional: $199.00 for a formal, branded meaningful business model design report


contact: or call 650-210-8700 

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Librarians and Their Meaningful Legacy

I have been the shiftalliance librarian for several months and have enjoyed every minute.  I manage the content of the shiftalliance library, identifying new and innovative business practices and making sure we maintain a high level of quality through a review process of all records.


When determining a title for me early on, we were advised that the title of Information Analyst or Specialist would translate better in the business world than the title of Librarian. It yielded a discussion among us about my job title. I tend to think of information professionals (researchers, analysts, and the like) and librarians (catalogers, reference librarians, curators, etc.) as one large and varied family. I don’t think of them as separate. And I thought that a job title doesn’t really matter so much.


At the same time, I had to think a bit more about what might be lost. What librarians have done is amazing. Since before the days of the Library at Alexandria, we have been the ones to collect knowledge, protect it, and, most importantly, share it. A recent documentary underscores the beauty of librarianship: a single Colombian educator, Luis Soriano, packs books onto a donkey and rides through dangerous terrain to reach remote villages with a message of learning. Librarians were reaching out to rural communities in this same way a hundred years ago. In the face of legal pressure, disciplinary action, or imprisonment, librarians have stood up for intellectual freedom and the right to have access to information.  Librarians have supported literacy and social change both for individuals and for communities. Thousands of librarians make a difference within their communities today.


Although how and where we experience information is changing, the need for librarians endures. Librarians are professionals who make that information meaningful. And because of what librarians do, libraries have long been a wonderful example of meaningful enterprise, creating meaningful value, and encouraging society to thrive.


My role recently expanded into overseeing technology and we decided on the title of Director of Research and Technology. Even with this change in title, I am proud to be a librarian. – K. Rahn


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Katrina Rahn is now shiftalliance’s Director of Research and Technology

As of March 19, shiftalliance’s m2∞ Librarian, Katrina Rahn, will take on the role of Director of Research and Technology. In addition to overseeing the shiftalliance m2∞ library of exemplar social enterprises and their best practices, Katrina will lead technology for product, service, and internal operations innovations. She is a perfect fit for this position.


“In the new role of Director of Research and Technology, I am looking forward to doing my part in taking shiftalliance to the next level. I see all these possibilities and that is my kind of fun!” – K. Rahn

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Qualities of Presence: SILENCE & STILLNESS (Part 4 of 10)

Qualities of Presence: Silence & Stillness


In our ongoing series on Qualities of Presence we have looked at the ways that practicing Presence or “having more parts of oneself existing in and available to the immediate moment” can help people to unleash the adaptive and creative potential to thrive in their professional and personal lives. When we’re both physically and psychologically present (body and all of our mind or attention), we can tune into multiple forms of intelligence including emotional intelligence, social intelligence, body intelligence, intuition, etc..


Our last installment examined the qualities of our consciousness: 1) open AWARENESS and 2) focused, alert ATTENTION, and the benefits of being able to be aware of both of these elements of our current immediate experience.


Next, we look at the quality of Silence or Stillness.


Physician Stephen McPhee from the University of CA San Francisco’s Medical Center describes Presence as the ability to fully meet another person open, available, and engaged. The medical profession has been interested in this subtle aspect of care – the quality of a medical provider’s Presence – as an important aspect of delivering successful healing interventions. In order to cultivate a sense of Presence, McPhee emphasizes the importance of experiencing silence and stillness in our own lives. His Presence model encourages meditation to find stillness outside of daily activity, and reflection on silence and stillness in the midst of daily activity. From a point of stillness, we can cultivate the ability to contact the present-moment and connect with others and the environment more directly.


To help us understand silence and stillness in a another way, Adyashanti, a US-born spiritual teacher and former Buddhist, explains silence and stillness as qualities that exist here in the present moment even in the midst of life and activity. He explains:


Stop thinking of silence as a lack of noise – mental noise, emotional noise, or the external noise around you. As long as you see silence as something objective, something that is not you but might come to you like an emotional experience, you are chasing your own projected idea. Looking for silence is like being on a motorboat racing around the lake looking for a smooth spot where everything is silent, and there you are – vroom! vroom! – racing around with increasing anxiety that you are never going to get there. No matter how long you raced around that lake you would never find this silence. Actually, all you have to do is throttle back and turn the key off, and then there you are. Then it is very quiet, very still. When you start to be receptive and allowing, you start to return to your natural state, which is very quiet. Being receptive is just like throttling back. It is a natural state of quiet. 


This ‘natural state of quiet’ is possible because the elements of stillness, quiet, presence, and activity are all elements of our natural state of being. As Adyashanti further explains, quiet and stillness do not exist in opposition to noise and activity. “True quiet is absolutely inclusive.” Practicing Presence involves being receptive to the silence in the midst of daily life. Again, Adyashanti challenges our ideas of silence:


When you’re in the true quiet you realize that when you hear a jackhammer, that’s the quietness – it’s just taken some form… When we come into stillness, we find that stillness is not separate from motion of movement…There is a very palpable presence in this quiet…this is not a dead quiet. You can sense an aliveness. It’s a presence that’s inside your body and outside your body. It permeates everywhere. 


As with anything worthwhile, being quiet, still and receptive take practice. McPhee refers to this practice as a “habit of reflection” which consists of cultivating three kinds of stillness:


1. stillness apart from daily routines (meditation);

2. stillness-in-action, a form of inner stillness used by musicians to “project energy to the audience.” The Taoists call this simultaneous supreme action and supreme relaxation or wu-wei, and;

3. stillness-in-between action, “those precious moments of repose during a busy day.


It seems that silence and stillness may not be as far away as we think.  Even in the midst of our busy daily lives it may be possible to enhance our level of Presence in the moment by practicing the ability to experience or find the stillness and silence that accompanies the noise.


Here’s what Presence-Based Coaching clients say about their experience of practicing silence, stillness, and even contacting these things in the middle of their demanding hectic lives:




“I noticed this week a sense of quiet versus being ‘all roused up’ which is my normal way of being during the week.”


“I didn’t feel the need to attack or defend. I just stayed quiet without feeling stifled. I’m being wise. There is more wisdom in pausing.”


“I’m finding more stillness and satisfaction… I’m reigning myself in (my attention), getting back in my body, hearing through my ears, seeing through my eyeballs, sensing through my body.”


“My creative renegade is demanding: SILENCE! QUIET! … I noticed very little hate self-talk. The battering internal comments about my performance seemed quieted.”


“Despite a week in a fog of nasal congestion and coughing, an awareness of a quiet, gentle, calm command of self grew more apparent this week. … The Presence practice affords the opportunity to quiet my mind and feel grounded.”


Challenge: Can you find the silence & stillness in this very moment? No matter the noise and chaos around, imagine placing your attention on what is not changing from one minute to the next.


It’s easiest to begin to notice the silence and stillness by creating a quiet still place to sit and reflect. As you’re able to find it at the obviously quiet times, see if you can find it in the midst of activity. The more you’re able to notice it, the more you’ll be able to choose it when chaos and noise are competing for our attention.


Calm and serenity may not be as far away as you think.

Please join us as we continue discussing the Qualities of Presence in our next post: An absence of an historical sense of self.


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Qualities of Presence: AWARENESS & ATTENTION (Part 3 of 10)

Attention and Awareness


We continue exploring Presence-Based Coaching by examining the qualities that make-up our consciousness: focused ATTENTION and open, alert AWARENESS. It is usually easiest to understand these qualities in relationship to each other.


To understand the distinction between Attention and Awareness, we can use the metaphor of shining a flashlight in the dark. ATTENTION is what we choose to focus on in any moment, whatever is within the beam of light. In this example AWARENESS is the darkness; it is our broader field of experience, like a radar that monitors our internal and external environments.


Whatever we pay attention to within the larger field of awareness constitutes attention. Because our experience is shaped by whatever occupies our attention, it is important to have the ability to direct and manage our attention.(1) We are talking about the ability to manage our minds and our thought process.


ATTENTION: the mental faculty of taking notice – what aspect of life do you take notice of?


AWARENESS: the aspect of mind that is aware of itself and the world – what aspect of you is aware of itself and the world?


The practice of Presence – paying attention to present-moment experience with a non-judgmental, curious attitude – pulls one’s attention into this moment, out of the past and out of the future into this immediate fragment of time. By focusing on the present-moment we notice or register more of what exists in the larger field of awareness right now. Presence has been characterized as an “attentional ability” (2) in that one is able to focus in an undistracted way on the object at hand: “When we Presence something, we let our full attention rest on it.”(3) In this way, Presence includes both the abiding open aspects of AWARENESS and the focused and alert qualities of ATTENTION.


Practicing Presence may help us to expand the field of conscious experience (awareness) and allow new phenomena to register in our conscious mind (attention). If we are psychologically present in the moment, we allow our attention to remain connected to the actual unfolding of experience from moment-to-moment. While this might mean keeping attention on things we would often rather ignore, the end benefit is a capacity to tolerate and manage our experience to a larger range of experience. We can be open to the stimulus (attention) as well as to the broader unfolding moment (awareness).



In the case of experiencing personal or professional challenges, the PBC process helps people learn to simultaneously notice discomfort, and manage anxiety long enough to discern the appropriate response to best move toward goals. Clients learn to tolerate difficulty without becoming overwhelmed. They strengthen their meta-cognition muscle so a negative stimulus is neither avoided, indulged, or harbored; instead, it is acknowledged, responded to, and then let go into the every-changing landscape of experience.


Practicing Presence allows us to experience this particular “fragment of time” and all that is included in it (4). With attention and awareness focused on the contents of our current experience, one experiences a “filled present” resulting in potential increases in pleasure and fulfillment as well as an experience of time slowing down or expanding.


How it works: Examples of PBC in Action


To illustrate the transformational process of our Presence-Based Coaching method, we’ll look at the responses of past clients and examples that illustrate the Presence-Based Coaching learning process in action.


Amanda: Well, I hit two or more moments during the last week where I was feeling anxious and stressed and then I stopped, observed, aligned and finally allowed myself to be in the present moment without letting the rest of the day absorb me completely.


In this example, Amanda was able to change her experience by shifting her attention from thinking about the future and all that needed to be done, to bringing her attention in to the moment and whatever she was doing. This change helped Amanda’s business:


This practice is strengthening my relationships with friends and customers by being more aware of them. I was consciously making an effort to listen to them instead of letting my mind wander.


Julie: As I approached my business plan, I was noticing all sorts of avoidance behaviors. I just noticed and then did what I needed in order to pave the way into deeper relationship with the business plan. I am now well on my way in fleshing out the pieces that I can do without consultation.


In this example, Julie noticed and acknowledged her avoidance behavior. Instead of engaging in something to distract herself, she was present to the anxiety and avoidance, eventually getting herself to sit down and do the work she needed to do. She was learning to tolerate and recognize anxiety and discomfort, staying with the experience long enough to let it subside and shift into something different: an effective response.


Steve: On Sunday, when I actually had a moment to relax, I enjoyed the day more allowing myself to not worry about the shop/work etc.


Learning to manage our attention is what we refer to as a Being-based practice. Often times in coaching or any activity we practice doing something over and over. PBC requires practicing managing attention over and over but the primary action is to “notice.” The act of noticing is the first step to change. Once we can notice and see something, we’re more able to affect that thing.


Jennifer: I also had success at work where I made a presentation to the whole sales team. I was present when I prepared for it, so it went extremely well. Usually, I rush and end up floundering.


When it comes to our lives, being able to manage our attention and thinking is paramount to happiness and effectiveness.


Explore Presence


Try on some of these ideas. The first step in PBC is to simply begin to notice. The act of stopping and reflecting is powerful, and it’s a subjective experience that some people might not even notice. Consider the domains of self, others, and the environment.


Notice: Where do you put your attention? Within any moment, what do you tend to focus on? Which of the three domains gets most of your attention? self, others, or the environment? What happens when you begin to notice the other domains?


Notice: Each day take a moment to soften your gaze and broaden the field of attention; expand your awareness. What do you experience? hear? feel?


Write down your observations and at the end of the week see if you notice any patterns.


Please join us as we continue discussing the Qualities of Presence in our next post:
Silence and Stillness


(1) ****

(2) *****

(3) ******

(4) McPhee, 2005, p. 7

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Qualities of Presence: PRESENCE + Professional COACHING (Part 2 of 10)

Last week, we introduced the topic of Presence, simply defined as one’s quality of relating to the here and now, or present moment. Following installments will examine each of the eight qualities of Presence we outlined, and explain the benefits of practicing Presence. Along the way, we will cite examples from the experiences of past clients to illustrate the outcomes of this process.


The premise of the Presence-Based Coaching PBC model is that the more we can exist in this immediate fragment of time, or the present-moment, the more effective we become at responding to the circumstances and situations that arise.


A Little Information on Coaching


Professional coaching supports individuals to actualize their potential by becoming “flexible learners, capable of adapting to an increasing array of unexpected events and circumstances”.* Professional coaches develop and deliver customized learning programs relevant to their client’s immediate needs, which result in “immediate and tangible benefits”.* A coach is a person adept at “unleashing the human spirit and expanding people’s capacity to achieve, stretch his or her goals, and bring about real change”.** Professional Coaching could be considered the practical application and industry of Positive Psychology: the field researching the positive and thriving life condition. Positive psychology is especially interested in the accomplishment of goals and the building of competencies.*** At shiftalliance, our Presence-Based coaching programs teach clients to accomplish their goals and grow through the practice of becoming more aware: a practice of non-action, of BEING more conscious (managing attention and increasing awareness), which in turn positively affects behavior and action.


Presence isn’t all or nothing. We can think in terms of “levels of presence” and see how Presence-Based Coaching clients have been able to discern a higher or lower qualities of Presence in critical moments. If anything, the most profound skills learned in the PBC program are the ability to step back, reflect and re-focus in real time, what James Flaherty calls the ability to ‘self-correct’ and ‘self-generate’.



Presence-Based Consciousness


PBC is based on the practice of present-moment awareness and attention. This involves the realm of consciousness which can be defined as the mind’s awareness of itself and the world. By cultivating conscious awareness, we shift into the realm of perception. We become conscious of what and how we perceive the world. This is profound because how we perceive the world determines the actions we take: it determines behavior.


The Presence-Based Coaching practice supports transformation as clients begin to notice their patterns of managing attention. As patterns get disrupted, new information often registers in one’s field of awareness shifting one’s fundamental experience of Being. For that reason we speak about PBC as a methodology to develop Being-based capacities over traditional doing-based skill development. Being-based capacities include the ability to notice new kinds of information such emotional intelligence, social intelligence, intuition, etc. As we begin to notice or observe ourselves and our patterns, we’re also able to more easily change them. Making more conscious choices helps us move toward our desired outcomes both personally and professionally. Clients report the ability to notice or observe themselves in the midst of work and interpersonal interactions, especially situations that trigger strong emotional responses: situations that cause the most difficulty and stress in our lives and give rise to less than ideal behavior.


Jim: When we were fighting about some stupid thing, and then started down the ‘you did this, but you did this’, which leads back to lots of other unresolved situations, I removed myself from the situation momentarily [stop]. I took a few breaths to help me observe what was really going on [observe], I took a few seconds to figure out what I was trying to accomplish [align] and then I re-entered the situation with a fresh perspective [allow]. I did not allow everything to happen, but I did allow the situation at hand to play out much more effectively. This is actually much more of a valuable tool in my personal life since in personal relationships it is far more easy to react from emotion and expectation than in business or work situations.


Bringing the practice of Presence to challenging moments can produce powerful transformation. In this example, the client, Jim, was practicing the 4-step PBC process of stop-observe-align-allow (SOAA). In just a few weeks he was able to transform his personal relationship,. This is not an unusual outcome of the PBC program;once we practice being “conscious” in one area of life we become more conscious in all areas of our life. Awareness, or meta-cognition, is like a muscle we can build and strengthen and it permeates every part of our lives.


Please join us for Part 3 as we continue our exploration of the eiqht qualities of Presence, beginning with Attention and Awareness: qualities one and two.

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Qualities of Presence: Introduction (Part 1 of 10)

Presence-Based Coaching (PBC) is one of the signature services offered by shiftalliance. This month, we will discuss what we mean when we talk about Presence. We’ll also explore the roots of the Presence-Based Coaching methodology and introduce the many benefits that practicing Presence can bring to your professional and personal life.


As the holiday season moves into full swing, we are scattered and pulled in a hundred directions. It’s a good time to think about Presence. We hope that this series will offer you peace and reflection during this busy time and provide a better understanding of how Presence can support you to create fulfilling outcomes that move you toward your goals.


We’ll begin by introducing and defining the concept of Presence. Then, over the next three weeks, we will examine eight qualities of Presence-moment experience including:


  • Focused Attention
  • Observational Awareness
  • Silence & Stillness
  • A “Beginner’s Mind” Perspective – seeing things as if for the first time
  • Connection
  • Authenticity
  • Somatosensory Field – being able to sense, feel or experience subtle energy
  • Non-Judgement – acceptance


We’ll conclude the series by reviewing the benefits of the practicing Presence, explain the concepts of simultaneous supreme activity and supreme relaxation, and talk more about the transformational outcomes of the Presence-Based Coaching method.



What is Presence?


Presence can be most simply defined as our quality of relating to the here and now, or present moment. It is “being there in the purest sense.”* Leading theories of Presence conclude that Presence is not an all or nothing proposition but that there are different levels or qualities of Presence relative to how much of oneself exists in and is available to the present moment. In short, people can be more or less present at any moment in time.


The distinctions between existing and being available correlate to the two different types of Presence: physical and psychological. A person might be physically present, existing in the present moment, but be psychologically absent or unavailable to the moment.


Awareness & Attention


Thus, Presence is marked by “wholeness” and includes both awareness and attention, the primary constructs of consciousness. Awareness is the “background ‘radar’ monitoring the inner and outer environment,”** whereas attention is the focus of the conscious mind, or what a person pays attention to. Our experience is shaped by the objects of one’s attention.***

Presence includes both the observation and openness of awareness and the focused and alert qualities of attention. Benefits of practicing Presence will be discussed further when we examine the qualities of ATTENTION and AWARENESS.


Mindfulness and Flow


The PBC model also incorporates two leading theories related to present-moment activity: Mindfulness and Flow. Mindfulness focuses on increasing one’s overall, general awareness by cultivating the ability to focus deliberate and nonjudgmental attention on present-moment experience.****  In a Flow state, the individual’s focus, or attention, is completely absorbed in present-moment activity at the expense of all else, including oneself.*** Therefore, while Mindfulness attempts to expand awareness of the moment, Flow consists of a narrowed, focused concentration of attention in the present moment. Both have been associated with enhanced performance in a variety of activities.


Presence & Thriving


Presence-Based Coaching was developed in the belief that the practice of Presence, or having more of oneself existing in and available to the immediate moment, can help people to unleash the adaptive and creative potential to thrive in their professional and personal lives.


How might Presence-Based Coaching help you? Outcomes of the PBC practice include:


• Accelerated personal & professional development.  Slowing down to increase our quality of Presence helps us learn to more effectively manage responses to whatever is happening.  We develop the ability to make choices where before we reacted automatically. We develop RESILIENCE.


• Expanding possibilities and potential by exiting out of limiting belief systems, or conditioned Ways of Being developed in the past. We expand our identity and are open to being and experiencing more.


• Increased effectiveness as we increase our ability to see more of the complexity inherent in most situations & respond appropriately.


• Stress-Management skills


• Learning skills to manage and adapt to change.




Engagement with one’s goals, characterized by enjoyment, commitment, persistence, and skill stretching.


• Alignment of values and behavior in life and work: AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP.


• Enhanced effectiveness as defined by the ability to accomplish or execute one’s desired goals.


Please join us for the next three weeks as we examine the qualities of Presence and the ways that practicing Presence can facilitate a full engagement in the unfolding of life from moment to moment.


*(Bugental, 1963, p.383) **(Brown & Ryan p. 822) ***(Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002, p. 101) ****(Epstein, 2003a; Kabat-Zinn, 2003)

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shiftalliance at b corp: purpose, progress & future challenges










In October, shiftalliance attended the B Corp retreat in Philadelphia. For three days we enjoyed meeting the people who are pioneering and joining the B Corp movement, people whose character and companies exude the kind of integrity, authenticity, and quality that any of us would seek in our trusted businesses and friends. I came away impressed by the possibilities for corporate “reform” and impact of the grassroots B Corps process. It was also abundantly clear to us and many of of the people we talked with that our consulting services and methodology are well-suited to B Corp certification. In short, shiftalliance was made to help companies become B Corps.


A Word on B Corp: the B stands for Benefits


Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp started in 2007 and just this year formalized their GIIRS (Global Impact Investment Rating System) certification standard backed by B Lab the non-proft organization behind B Corporations.


Unlike traditional businesses, B Corporations:


  1. Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards;
  2. Meet higher legal accountability standards;
  3. Build business constituency for good business.


The rigorous certification process makes it easier to distinguish good businesses from good marketing (green washing).


shiftalliance became a certified B Corp in January 2010. As a company that exists to help companies create meaningful value and a thriving quadruple bottom line, we were thrilled to discover that companies could be recognized and potentially rewarded for their commitment to being better in ways that benefit all.


The Future of B Corp


B Corp is picking up steam. Since 2007, the number of  B Corps has grown from 81 to 468 and 6 states have already adopted B Corp legislation.  But the growing effectiveness of B corporations is prompting a troubling response from some corporations who are attempting to diminish B Corps efforts for corporate reform. B Lab co-founder, Andrew Kassoy explained the recent Flexible Purpose Corporations or “FlexCorps” legislation passed in California that gives corporations a “green” pass by doing a single good deed. California marks the first of these “FlexCorps” efforts but the campaign is expected to ramp up in succeeding states as B Corp increases its legislative reach.


So how can we, the rank and file of B Corp, help our leaders to pass B Corp legislation in the face of this well-funded push to pass watered-down FlexCorps legislation?


  • Spread the B Corp word. Advertise B Corp certification. Be a B Corp ambassador.
  • Build community by reaching out to other B Corps.
  • Support B Corp legislation efforts. Write letters, provide testimony, organize.


B Corp is a grassroots effort and requires each of us to do our part to create benefits for all. We are the leading edge of better business. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”


In my experience as the founder of Citizens Energy Task Force in Minnesota, I have witnessed the power of ordinary citizens to effect legislative change. My work with CETF has included successfully organizing citizens, providing testimony, and lobbying legislators to effect positive change.   We have the opportunity to live out the B Corp credo and be the change we seek. Our work in supporting legislation will provide more opportunities for business to support social change.


In the meantime, shiftalliance continues to work with companies to help them move toward the 21st century paradigm of meaningful business. At our core, we believe in the power of business to contribute to the greater good by providing meaningful value to people, communities, and the planet. 


shiftalliance is proud to be part of the B Corp movement. And I am grateful to B Corp for the opportunity to connect with so many inspiring people last week. May we all thrive!


Bev Topp, Business Development


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Meet the newest member of the shiftalliance: Katrina Rahn, m2∞ library

We’d like extend a warm welcome to the newest member of the shiftalliance team: Katrina Rahn.

Katrina joins the sa team to oversee the development and evolution of our m2∞ library, an essential part of the shiftalliance m2∞ software. Katrina’s experience in research, technology, library science and community development make her a great fit for our alliance. She will be working with our most valued data: the examples and inspirations that support social entrepreneurship, conscious capitalism, and sustainability.

Our m2∞ library contains two data collections: 1) a host of exemplar twenty-first century enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit enterprises that are innovating in unique and meaningful ways, and 2) our collection of 250+ meaningful best practices for building a next-generation meaningful and sustainable business model based on meaningful value creation, the new key value driver in business.

Bio: Katrina Rahn is the Library Director at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. In her current position, she supports research, teaching, and personal/professional development of the Institute’s community. She brings high standards and creative solutions to her work, and has applied methods and ideas from the business and technology worlds to the benefit of staff and library users. She started the ITP Research Blog and co-developed content for a research course. Prior to becoming Library Director, she served as the Cataloging/Reference Librarian at ITP. Katrina also co-founded the NCCPL Tech Group, a collaborative group of Bay Area librarians and library staff who seek out innovative solutions through technology. Before moving to the Bay Area, she worked in the Los Angeles County Library System. She earned a Masters Degree in Library Science from UCLA and a BA in Creative Studies from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Sculpture.

Feel free to reach out to Katrina with your examples of how organizations are making a difference every day: Welcome Katrina!

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Traction with Reality: How Deep is Your Tread?

by Jay Barnes

How would it feel, if others noted your positive and productive connection with reality? And how might it feel to work with others who possessed a similarly positive relationship with reality?

A couple of us recently had the privilege of spending the better part of day with Joel and Michelle Levey. If you don’t know of them, they are marvelous practitioners and teachers of mindfulness. It is not an overstatement to say they have shared their wisdom with people all over the world and with a broad spectrum of organizations ranging from the health care community, to the military and also with an impressive list of major corporations, which includes names such as Google and Hewlett Packard.

As they shared some of their thinking with us and the others in the room that day, they told a story about one woman who worked within one of the corporate groups they were training. They were talking about how she was perceived by her coworkers as “having real traction with reality as she moved through it.” This phrase immediately went into my notes because it struck me as a core desire for myself, and I suspected many others might feel the same.

Cultivating a more mindful presence leads to us to a better relationship with reality. Being mindfully present means that you are attentive to the present moment; paying attention to what is happening within your mind, your body, with others and the environment at large. Learning to be more present benefits ourselves and those around us, as it gives us the opportunity see and choose a responses which are more optimal than what might have emerged otherwise.

At shiftalliance, we help people and organizations enhance their relationship with reality. Our framework allows us to facilitate meaningful conversations which help get people on the same page about why their business exists and how it operates. We are also able to help people see where they fit within the organization and how they’ve been “showing up.” These processes are tremendously helpful for building alignment and allowing people to see what “is” more clearly and then build goals based on that new level of clarity. Combine this work with our ability to train individuals and teams on cultivating a higher quality of presence and you’re talking about setting up an organization to thrive in its relationship with reality.

Please stay tuned as we elaborate on this thinking in the coming weeks as we share about the principles of our human sustainability and Presence-Based Leadership Development work.

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