The super-rich will dedicate some $50 trillion to sustainable investments in coming years and blue chip Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Carlyle Group are lining up to meet the demand. Corporations worldwide are cutting their carbon footprints and in the background bold-faced investors such as Norway’s $1 trillion pension fund and $7 trillion in assets BlackRock are putting the screws on carbon-emitters. These are exciting times for the green movement.
Boston-based hedge fund manager James Jampel, of $460 million in assets HITE Hedge Asset Management, has a simple way to play the green arms race. He’s betting against the entire carbon industry, which he believes is in chronic decline much like whip-and-buggy-makers at the dawn of the auto age, or Sears amid the rise of Amazon and Eastman Kodak when the electronic camera went mainstream. Basically, the writing’s on the wall for oilmen.
What to do to do nothing?
In today’s hyper effective office workplaces you are tempted to think that doing nothing is some sort of a sin. Having nothing to do is a waste of your time and consequently - of someone else’s money (usually your bosses).
Manufacturers used to call it (and some still do) a downtime and a downtime usually means inefficiency a.k.a. - a loss.
But in the same way that the workplaces in offices have become hyper effective, the workplace of a service provider, blue collar worker has become more unpredictable: orders are erratic, plans usually are more of a fairy tail than a thing to follow and uncertainty is the most certain thing. Loosing time as a service provider is quit often a normal thing - some orders get canceled, plans are not fulfilled and forecast are a myth.
On these often occasions one is tempted to find something to do. If one is not a freelancer and has a boss, the boss usually encourages that seeking of “self worth”.
So, how can doing nothing in this case be good? You want to be useful, your boss wants you to be useful. Who is wrong here?
Doing nothing usually will not bring you more income on its own, but it can be a useful measurement tool of your success. Figures vary from industry to industry, but if you, as a service provider, can reach a “free” or “lost” time portion of 20%, you are on a right track (german industry standard).
In this case, doing nothing (but you need to be sure, that there is nothing planned to do) and measuring that free time will let you know how much free time in your process you have. Never mind, that that time can’t be immediately used - it is the measurement of the whole process, not that particular task.
I would like to link some references for these insights, but it’s just my experience and the way I was lucky to use it.
Using that free time and reaching a goal of 20% as a service provider could be another topic for the future.
Was watching ‘The Half of It’ on Netflix last night (great show!) and a particular quote stood out:
“... the difference between a good painting and a great painting, is typically five strokes. And they are usually the five boldest strokes in the painting. The question of course, is which five strokes?”
So often in meeting startup founders, we talk about how to do X, Y and Z aimed at improving certain metrics. While incremental change is good, it’s often the big moves and pivots that make a difference, e.g. Slack started as a gaming company. If you’re a founder, what’s your bold stroke? Are you prepared to ruin a good company to become a great one?