We’re big on making the world a better place, and we’re even bigger fans of those that actually do it.
A few days ago, we ran across this link to a fascinating National Geographic article on how the Netherlands, a country with 1/270th the area of the US, has become the world’s #2 exporter of food. (Take a few minutes to go read it — we’ll be here…)
In just a few decades, the Dutch have embraced a national goal to drastically increase food production while drastically reducing the resources needed for agriculture. Plus, they’re making a concerted effort to spread this knowledge around the globe, through a large agricultural university with students from all over the world. In a nutshell, the techniques developed and perfected in the Netherlands could end up saving humanity in the not-too-distant future.
There’s a lot to learn here for any organization working to make the world a better place. Some of these may even sound familiar…
Have big, long-term goals.
The Dutch are thinking decades ahead, and about nothing less than human survival. Big goals attract the best and brightest minds.
Nothing is dismissed as a bad idea until you’ve tried it and learned something.
Use every resource at your disposal.
From no-tech like beneficial insects, to high-tech machinery like automated drones and robot harvesters, every option is used and on the table.
Educate and share.
Instead of locking away knowledge in a corporate vault for short-term gains, the Dutch are actively sharing everything with each other and the world. This isn’t just good for humanity, it’s good business — they’re building a worldwide market for their knowledge, techniques and products.
To be sustainable, be practical.
Incredible efficiency means that Dutch agriculture makes money. Everyone benefits, so everyone’s focused on the same goals. Agriculture research doesn’t need donations or massive government assistance to keep going.
Adapt and grow around your core principles.
The Dutch aren’t stopping with techniques for growing tomatoes on the shores of the North Sea — they’re putting these principles to work in all kinds of climates around the world to grow all kinds of food.
It’s easy for credit unions and credit union marketers to get in a bit of a rut, where it’s difficult to think big enough, especially when everyone is just trying to get through the every day, short-term stuff.
But all of us have the potential to do so much more.
As we say right there at the top of our home page, we believe credit unions make the world a better place, and that credit unions are essential to our world’s future. There’s plenty of everyday work to be done, and it’s important for all of us to keep our eyes on that big picture.