The Six Tools in Detail

In any industry, tools are used to manipulate ‘resources’, and the purpose of using the tool is your achievement or movement towards a specific outcome.  

When managing holistically the resources that underpin your economic whole, and the things you manipulate, are the four renewable ecosystem processes.  They are the underlying capital of your business.  Once you begin, you are making decisions that give equal footing to your quality of life, your economic success, and to the four ecosystems that govern your environmental soundness.  

For an individual or a group that has set their holisticgoal, the challenge is to select tools and actions that will lead toward achieving it.   All tools and actions should be tested for movement towards your holisticgoal by using the framework’s testing guidelines, so learning to use the testing guidelines is a key part of the process.

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When managing holistically, your choice of tools and actions to help you achieve your goal is limited only by your creativity!  One of the many powerful attributes of the process is the fact that there need be no prejudice against the use of any tool or action—the testing guidelines will indicate whether its selection will lean toward or away from your holisticgoal.

Some people have difficulty thinking of tools as anything other than technologies, but as you explore this section try to think of alternatives.  For example: If you were to think that the only way you can approach an infestation of grasshoppers is by trying to find the best pesticide, then you may overlook less costly approaches, such as getting the bare ground where they lay their eggs, covered.  

Categories of Tools
There are millions of individual tools and actions available to humans to influence our environment and thus sustain ourselves, however, in the end they all fall under the six specific headings shown inside the dotted box in the drawing below.

Human Creativity
This tool is used in EVERY decision, and is unquestionably the single most important tool in your toolbox.  You use it whilst considering how and why one or more of the other tools might be used.   

Every man-altered landscape and every building, piece of equipment or gadget has been created first in the mind of a human, and then fashioned into existence using the remaining eight tools in a multitude of combinations.  Even something as simple as where to place a portable electric fence line today involves your ‘human creativity’.

Almost every tool within the dotted box requires the involvement of human labour to make its use effective.  A stone axe will not do its work without human effort!

Associated with the use of almost any tool is likely to be money.  The Testing Guidelines help you determine whether the expenditure you are considering is appropriate for you and your group under the prevailing circumstances.

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