Motivation Monday: It's time to Kiss The Ground


We lasted 12 minutes. We couldn’t continue. It (the movie, don’t get suss on me now!) was just too bad.

I walked out, got something to eat and re-entered the room. 

The good news in my wife had actually found something that was worth watching. We spent the next 90 minutes actively engaged in the content.

We learned a lot. We walked away feeling empowered. 

Let’s talk about why.

It's all in the dirt

The film my wife had chosen was Kiss The Ground.

We’d already heard about it. We knew it was narrated by Woody Harrelson. We knew it was intently focused on topics (the practicalities of carbon sequestration) that interested us.

What we didn’t know was exactly what it would cover. We didn’t know how the science and the stories would make us feel.

It started with Woody in a studio. Oh yeah, spoilers.

He said something along the lines of, “I’ve given up”.

For those of you that don’t know, Woody is a bit if an environmental activist.

This really aligns to the way we think about things at times. From so many different perspectives, the world just seems completely [email protected]#!$d!

Powerlessness. The feeling of despair. Apathy… These are all kinda normal reactions. It easy – even for the most motivated of folk – to get down. 

But, at the end of the film we actually felt great. We felt like the toolkit we’ve been building in our own lives had grown. We felt like the movement to start #MakingBetterTogether was even stronger than we had realised. We felt ready to take further action.

But we get that ‘feel goods’ don’t always move the needle. So I’d like to share some very basic details from a story within the film that I believe can.

Show me the money

Agricultural subs are big business. They make our current systems of agriculture commercially possible (even though they shouldn’t be. But, more on that in another post).

Fortunately there are those out there willing to challenge and progressively change the system (or better yet, design new systems to replace the old ones). Gabe Brown – a ‘regenerative rancher‘ – is one of those people.

Gabe’s been at his craft a long time. His story was compelling and empowering. But, it’s worth noting it did follow the typical hero’s journey arc.  

Although this was the case, the thing that stood out to me most was the business case. And it’s bloody amazing.

For all the details, I encourage you to watch the film. This contains the actual data behind my “orders of magnitude” claim.

Gabe makes orders of magnitude more money per square acre than the farms that surround him. He’s diversified, resilient and not reliant on government hand outs (his framing).

And the thing is, this story isn’t as unique as it once may have been.

Ethics enables growth

When I say “ethics”, let me be super clear about what I mean.

Ethics is the decision making process you execute (when choice is available) to help achieve the best possible outcome. The Ethics Centre has some great content on this. 

There’s lots of subjectivity here. Remember, we’ve (the royal) been thinking about, studying, debating and practicing this stuff for thousands of years.

But please don’t let subjectivity side track you. There’s actually a heck of a lot of pretty objective stuff that we can agree on (about how to make tomorrow better than today). This isn’t zero sum. This is about doing better. 

Back to the point.

There’s more evidence* than ever before to suggest that more ethical, socially preferable practices protect against downside risk and actually enable business growth. This isn’t just relevant to tech. This isn’t just relevant to agriculture or food. This is more systemic. If you can find ways to do stuff (as an organisation) that people overwhelmingly support, you are beginning to build a more resilient and impactful organisation.

*We have written about this extensively across multiple channels. If you want more info to support the position above, leave a comment.

This is an empowering thought. It’s a pragmatic thought. And it’s the very reason we took the leading work we’d done in our services business and decided to build Greater Than Learning.

So, if you’re in the camp of people that looks at the world and figures things can be better, let’s talk. Let’s support one another. Whether your thing is dirt or design, you can have an impact. Let’s start #MakingBetterTogether.