Summary: In today’s podcast guest Carol Sanford who is the author of The Regenerative Business speaks with Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions about the small business scale and the various stages to be prepared for when building your business. They talk about important topics like the stages and phases of the business cycle, the idea of having an essence in a company, the key ingredients of regenerative business, and what makes up culture.

Stages and Phases

There is a distinct difference between stages and phases, stages are more linear while phases are the cycles that businesses can learn. The phases businesses go through are unpredictable when it comes to where you will be at a point in time but something you can manage because of anticipation. Phases are important and crucial for business scale.

Stages are more linear as previously said which can deceive entrepreneurs into thinking there is a certain template they can follow and this can put entrepreneurs in a trap. Companies that use the phase process are shown to do better. There are specific phases that are important for people to understand.

The first phase is strategic thinking which starts off with involving the company’s identity and transparency. With this phase, questions that may come to mind are who they are, and how they bring who they are into the market. The second phase uses the same strategic questions that were in the first stage and provides leadership. There have to be leaders in the organization that lead into the market, ecosystem, and industry. The third phase is work design and management practice which involves delivery. All of these phases require culture in the first place which is how people are doing things to create what they are.

The Idea of Essence

It is essentially using your essence as a source with the strategy already being down. Your strategy will continue to evolve the more you know. Reinventing gets closer to who you are and is based on personal experiences. For a business scale, regenerating involves evolving capacity and being more able to do something.

This whole idea of regenerating came about for Carol as an unfolding over a span of decades. The initiating force was something very personal for her and shaped her perspective of life. She always loved educating others and not trying to change or judge them. This led to her discovering her own essence and finding something deeper when getting past their own personality.

Essence-to-essence connections come a long way when it is to a business scale. This essence-to-essence connection is what you build in a company that can change your whole entire perspective in general. Once you have a strategic phase of work and bring out the essence in a company, it is time to take out something from the market that is risky. You would want to take out something before some other company does. She found out that the essence of the founder with the people that are buying from them merged together.

Key Ingredients of a Regenerative Business

If you understand how living systems work then the principles of something that is alive are like a regenerative business. There are 7 first principles of regeneration on a business scale. First, you have to see things as a whole which involves the process of something. Secondly, there has to be an understanding of the essence of that whole. The third thing involves the potential of something since you have seen the whole. The fourth principle is developing the potential of that whole. The fifth thing is nesting in something with everyone having a different role to play in a company. The sixth thing is the idea that scaling is not what matters, but learning to realize that the core thing that will change everything is how a business should operate. The last aspect is regeneration is always based on the feel and works based on the context. The feel is just the vibe that becomes the design of the company.

The mindset of how you build a company is affecting how people regenerate their business. The biggest thing that you learn when regenerating a business is that you need business culture. By using that regenerative business scale process you are enhancing, creating, or changing their culture for the better. Building culture gives people a new perspective to look at their company and gives it authenticity. You are going to have to be active and talk to everyone to build a culture to successfully regenerate a business. Business owners have to start working harder to have culture develop in the workplace.

What Makes Up Culture

Building a successful business scale is built on having the best culture. You have to understand the cultural aspects of bringing power to entrepreneurs and how they can grow so well because they learn to see different archetypes. Based on that, you can drive culture change rapidly. The more experience you have in business the quicker you find the culture of the company. As you add more people and your business scales they also grow accustomed to the culture you have put in place.


Entrepreneurship can also be described in one word: autodidactic. This word means self-taught which is exactly how entrepreneurs are brought up. If you really want to be a great business owner, you have to be reading, listening, and watching things you can teach yourself. You have to self-teach yourself the areas you need to improve on. The aspect of self-teaching yourself to become a great business owner fits in with the process of regenerative businesses because both processes require growth.

Not only do you have to be self-taught, but you have to be self-developing. Self-taught increase knowledge but requires you to cram and have external views about things. You have to learn through reflecting on experiences and not just seeking knowledge from other people. The foundation of all growth is to learn about ourselves and how we bring that in to contribute to something that brings a difference. That is something you need to form a good business scale.

About the Guest Carol Sanford from Carol Sanford Company

Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized thought leader working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design.

Carol is the author of  The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary OutcomesThe Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders, and Impact InvestorsThe Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success;  and No More Feedback: Cultivate Consciousness at Work. Her books have won over 15 awards so far and are required reading at leading business and management schools including Harvard, Stanford, Haas Berkeley, and MIT. Carol also partners with producing Executive Education through Babson College, Kaospilot in Denmark, and University of Washington, Bothell, WA, and The Lewis Institute at Babson.

About Financing Solutions  Small Business Line of Credit

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