A prospective member of our staff asked the question, “what makes Mainstream unique – how do you think you will be able to compete and win over the next 20 years?”
It is great to get asked such a question. Mainstream Renewable Power is after all a young company. It doesn’t have a long profitable history. No one has worked in this company’s culture for longer than ten months. We have brought ourselves into existence during the worst recession since whenever (maybe the early 1930s?)
The conventional answer to this question is: A company needs a good strategy (i.e. making products that people really need, in the right place, using good channels of distribution). It needs a talented management, well motivated and hard working, to deliver on the strategy. Such a company usually wins the race to being best of class.
But these attributes, necessary as they are, don’t guarantee the uniqueness that characterises the really great company.
Einstein once declared “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. We completely agree.
But, in practice, what does this mean and how can the imagination be fostered in a company which has to compete and keep on winning?
To me, imagination is about living in an alternate reality. This alternate reality means living in the world where the company strategy has created a new way of living.
Everyone can understand that the peak of oil has arrived. The fact is that oil from traditional sources stands at 74 million barrels per day and hasn’t changed since 2005. When the IEA says that the natural decline in oil is 9.1% per year and that with an expenditure of $360 Bn. per year we can reduce this natural decline to 6.4% per year, we see no room for complacency in our race to the future.
So what we do in Mainstream is to project ourselves into the new world where the replacement for oil, gas and coal exist and are the normal way of meeting our energy needs. So it’s a world of electricity, made from the wind, the sun and the ocean currents. It is captured remote from where people live, work, drive and play.
But we go further than this. What we portrayed in the last paragraph was a static future world where the transformation has already happened. The more important thing for our business is to imagine how we will get there. We celebrate those that can plot the way from where we are now to where a sustainably fuelled world is going.
So we don’t just imagine a different future, we imagine the way to get there.
This always takes courage. This exercise in imagination means that you can dare to be different. It means that staff are encouraged to be genuinely unique.
This celebration of the imagination is what makes Mainstream Renewable Power unique. It is inspiring and it is noble. It is what we try hard to achieve in Mainstream.
It is an enchanting mission to envision an unpolluted world beyond fossil fuel burning. It is our mission to help create this world. We see a future for a thriving humanity beyond fossil use. We aim to be a leader in its creation.
We will back, support and celebrate our imaginative staff who are going to take us to this future.