The model we present to you should be understood as a kind of “Operating System”: it consists of a set of principles that should guide every action, every initiative you want to undertake to bring regeneration into your organisation and your life; it provides a coherent framework, a map, that can help you navigate the road ahead and make choices that will boost your organisational vitality.


This model replicates the fundamental truth in all living system: life flows through inseparable cycles of death and birth, one feeding the other. Regenerating oneself, one’s team, one’s organisation and moving towards a regenerative economy is not only about birthing innovations and generating life, but also about letting go of what can no longer continue, what must die, in the world we have regenerated.


Thus, it is built around two different cycles. Both feed and regulate the flow of life: one works on structuring the ‘dying’ process of letting go; the other works on structuring the process of the new life asking to emerge.


So below are those 6 principles, the first three relating to the process of “letting go”, or death, and the other three to the structuring of the emerging life.


Cycle 1

Structuring the dying process: naming and letting go of what must end


Principle #1: Divest from life-draining processes. What is really life-draining is not so much death itself, rather it is investing energy in keeping alive something that needs to die, to end, to be abandoned.

Here are some examples of processes that suck life and energy out of individual, group and organisations, and some ideas on what to do differently.


At individual level

  • Feeding one’s “false self” instead of the authentic self: divesting from this type of process means letting go of dysfunctional relationships, unattainable and ungrounded goals that we chase, responding to expectations that have been instilled in us from outside but which do not (or no longer) correspond to what we really want and which do not help the construction of meaning for the organisation to which we belong;
  • A stereotyped management style, e.g. inspired by the “carrot and stick”, through which we delude ourselves that we are “motivating” our employees, in a world where it is now known that motivation in the medium and long term is found in what people do, in the alignment between external and internal, and that it is not the manager who can inculcate it in any way, but at most can help people to find it;
  • Continuing to invest in projects and attend meetings that we know are life-draining (without making an effort to revive them); instead, try to look at reality and identify projects or activities that continue only because no one has the courage to say they should end, and be the one audacious enough to suggest they end


At team and organisational level


  • Within your own team and organisation, instead of living in opacity and role ambiguity, bring a culture of transparency, accountability and learning, so that you can spend your energy on tackling real problems, rather than covering up shortcomings;
  • Freeing oneself from the dynamics of compensation that lead one to take on someone else’s role in order to compensate for their inability to take on that role; instead, learn to give open and respectful feedback, to help colleagues, co-workers and managers to take responsibility, to courageously explore the perimeter of one’s own role, and to assume the consequences of one’s own actions;
  • Stop supporting projects/products/services beyond the initial launch phase, despite evidence that they are not able to sustain themselves and despite clear signals from the target market that they are not aligned with needs;
  • In the transition to a regenerative economy, it is important to assess the impact of the various value chains at the heart of your business and to commit to a planned divestment from all activities that degrade ecosystems rather than regenerate them.


In our model, divestment from all those life-draining processes is the first principle: stopping, realising what no longer needs to continue, is the first step towards true transformation. Letting go allows you to free up time and energy that suddenly becomes available and can then be reinvested in life-enhancing processes. Divesting from degrading activities opens up possible spaces for creativity that can lead to inventing new components in your value chain, or even whole new value chains.


WARNING! If you turn up to work one morning and tell your boss, colleagues, suppliers, or clients: “Sorry guys, this is life-draining, I’m going to stop doing it”, chances are that your input will bring much toxicity to the system! So whilst it is important to be clear on the intention, on the direction, you need to adjust your approach so that it becomes, in itself, life-giving. Refrain at all cost from attributing faults to others for the situation you’re in – you will only irritate them and activate their resisting selves. Instead, acknowledge your part in the shared reality, your insights about what feels, to you, life-giving and life-draining, and invite them to share their own perspective in a non-judgemental atmosphere. Using Generative Listening, Generative Speaking, and other Non-Violent Communication tools will be key for the success of your endeavour.


These articles are a bit like our “Advent Calendar”. They will appear twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays on our blog, with the next one on 9 December.