Forms of Production

The 'Forms of Production' are what make your Quality of Life tangible and real.
Up until now the holisticgoal discussion has been about 'Quality of Life' and values.  Occasionally people think the quality of life statement is something of a ‘wish list’.  My response is to ask, “ Which of the values on your list are prepared to go without?”  I have yet to work with anyone who wanted to remove something from their Quality of Life statement!   

The better question is this: “If you are not prepared to accept less than the quality of life you have described, what are the conditions you must create or produce, that allow you to make constant movement towards all aspects of the holisticgoal?"

What 'Forms of Production' means
The things you will have to create or produce will take many forms, and thus we refer to this second part of the holistic goal as ‘Forms of Production’.  Some of this ‘production’ will be derived by combining your resource base with the sources of money you defined for the economic whole.  Others will come about solely because of the human creativity and skills of the decision makers.  Either way, your decisions will create an environment that is beneficial for your desired quality of life, or one that is damaging.  

Meeting quality of life needs
Each of the needs or desires expressed in your Quality of Life statement must be satisfied by some Form of Production.  This doesn't mean that you merely go through each phrase in your statement and create a ‘product’ to match it.  It takes a little more thought than that!  It becomes helpful if you ask the question: “What don't we have now, or what aren't we doing now, that is preventing us from achieving what we want?”  Rephrase the answer in positive terms and you will know what it is you have to produce.  

One form of production might meet several of the needs described, and vice versa.  If one of your desires was “to enjoy what we do everyday,” that probably would be met (in part or completely) by producing “a balance between our work and personal lives”, “sufficient time for strategic planning”.  Each is a condition your actions must produce: they don't materialise out of thin air! 

If one of your desires is “financial security” perhaps that could be met by producing “a retirement or pension plan” or “an estate plan that ensures an orderly transfer of assets to our children and adequate income for ourselves”.  By asking the question, you will discover what areas are currently weak and preventing you from meeting your quality of life needs.

If any of the desires included in your quality of life statement require money: For instance, “to be debt free”, or “financially secure”—then in most cases "Profit" from whatever source(s) you specify will need to be a form of production. 

In specifying the sources for that profit, it is important to do so in very general terms.  A toy manufacturer would produce “profit from toys,” rather than profit from ‘Plastic Hoola Hoops’ or from ‘Barbie Dolls’.  An accounting firm would produce “profit from the services we provide".  This is a general description that easily allows you to test adding more services, or even dropping some existing unprofitable services.  This is far more effective than a form of production stating ‘profit from tax returns and corporate audits’ (which is a very specific and limiting description).

If the whole being managed was a household and the money required to run it was produced from the salaries of one or two people, there would still be a need to produce an excess of income over the costs of running the household, in order to be financially secure or debt free.  Some families have expressed this as “to produce a ‘profit’ from our salaries” or—to produce a surplus in our household budget."

A true profit
You will notice that Greenslopes Pastoral Co Limited has identified that they must produce a "True Profit", and this is vital for any land-based business.  A true profit is a cash surplus derived in such a way that the underlying resource base is enhanced in the process.  This is a challenge worthy of deep consideration.

A quick checklist
When listing your forms of production, check to see that you have:
Identified a form of production for each value in your quality of life statement, remembering that a single form of production may often cover a number of your values

Excluded any “how-to’s” from your list.  You must identify what you need to produce, not how to produce it.

Noted any conflicts in opinion that arose during this phase.  If conflict has arisen at any stage, it is highly likely you have edged into a discussion on how to achieve your goal rather than what you have to produce in order to achieve your goal.

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