Harness the Current

Access Continuum’s Leadership Model for leading through novel unknowns

Continuum Consulting Services LLC

We’ve really enjoyed our conversations with Lee Aldridge from Soul Story Creative on themes at the heart of our work. This podcast with Continuum co-founder Lisa Marie Main focuses on the regenerative way of doing business, something we’re bringing into all our work.

From the podcast:

“So, the good news is that a lot of leaders and teams are already using regenerative practices but might not realize it. And there are ways that leaders can lead in a more regenerative way so that their people go home at the end of the day to their families, whether that’s walking into the kitchen from their office at home or driving home, that instead of bringing home their leftovers, they’re bringing home their best. “

Podcast Link

See the full transcript below. Follow along if you wish or reread later for your favorite quotes.


Lisa (00:00):

In a regenerative business, people stay for the purpose of the company. They want to know that what they’re doing is adding value and making a difference somewhere in the world. Having some kind of an impact, I can’t motivate them, but I can create an environment where they feel motivated and engaged. High engagement means high performance.

Producer (00:23):

Welcome to Business Leaders with Soul, a podcast showcasing the change makers and innovators of our times who are ushering in a new age of conscious business. They’re authentic, they’re original, and their message connects with the people they’re here to serve. Be inspired by these futurists and make the difference that you, too ,came here to make. And now here’s your host, Lee Aldridge.

Lee (00:50):

Hi everybody. I’m Lee Aldridge with Soul Story Creative, where we don’t tell you who to be. We show the world who you are, and we have a great show for you. Today we have Lisa Marie Main of Continuum Consulting Services to share her thoughts on the age of conscious business and what that means to her. Continuum Consulting Services is where The Regenerative Way equips leaders and organizations on how to apply their power, money, and influence to transform the world. Lisa is passionate about unleashing the potential of humanity with this regenerative approach where employees have more energy at the end of the day. With over 20 years and counting, Lisa has helped build Continuum to realize this vision by excelling in leadership development, culture building, and strategic planning, no matter the scope. From leading a countrywide Appreciative Inquiry process, engaging leaders and teams in adventure-based programs, to more intimate groundbreaking retreats, Lisa and her team create transformative engagements that truly move the needle.

 Continuum partners with people who do good in the world and equip them to do better, with services based on science and delivered with compassion. Since 1995, Lisa has incorporated in her work her extensive knowledge of and fascination with somatic systemic approaches and holistic practices supported by neuroscience and neurobiology. Lisa’s had the pleasure of partnering and learning with leaders and teams of Fortune 50 companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, and others. She enjoys life’s adventures living in Colorado with her husband, Tim, and their daughter Hailey, where they enjoy skiing, climbing, hiking, and camping. Oh, I love Colorado. Lisa, welcome. It’s so good to have you here.

Lisa (03:21):

Thanks Lee. I’m really happy to be here.

Lee (03:25):

Oh, my goodness. In our talks beforehand, I’m realizing that you guys were doing outdoor adventures for teams, leaders, and executives before there were ropes courses, it seems like, and now you’re talking about how humanity must raise its consciousness and action to be regenerative for us to even survive and stay here on the planet. You know, what does it look like when executives in leadership don’t take the regenerative approach? Like, what’s going on with this?

Lisa (04:05):

Well, we haven’t been regenerative for as long as I’ve been working in businesses–for about 25 years. And all this time, even pre-ropes course time, our client partners would come to us saying, “Our team doesn’t work well together. You know, we need to be fixed”, or “This leader is not performing well.” Or “how do we get more out of our team with less?” Our people would come to us during coaching and say, “I’m being asked to do too much. I’m stretched too thin. I have meeting fatigue, I have change fatigue. We have zoom fatigue now from being hybrid and virtual. There’s burnout and stress management, and can we do these courses?”

And it was like, wait a minute. When the pandemic happened, it was like the big pause to reflect. “What do we need instead? If we’re going to come out of the pandemic stronger and better, why don’t we get upstream, use that metaphor of where we are today and be more proactive, preventative, regenerative?”

If we’re not regenerative, people are going to continue to vote with their feet, and they’re going to leave their jobs because they don’t want the fatigue and the stress anymore. Their energy is being extracted, just like we extract the energy from the earth without putting anything back into it. It’s depleted.  And, looking around at leaders and teams and organizations, there’s a depleted energy, but yet everyone wants to have more energy, perform better, be more profitable, but the approach is extractive. And so, to answer your question, if we don’t take a regenerative course, we’re going to continue to burn out. And that is on a micro level of the macro. We’re burning out the planet, we’re burning out our resources here on the planet. They’re finite; they’re not infinite the way we treat them. They’re finite, not infinite.

Lee (06:02):

Right. And, you know, everybody wants more production, more profit. How can we do it? Okay, we’ll give them a day off. We’ll give them a better coffee room, or we’ll subsidize. That’s not going to cut it. No, it’s not going to cut it anymore.

And so that’s where you guys have to come in. I mean, we’re in a crisis. So really, I mean, I think we’re in this big reinvention with these endless waves of fear stuff going on. We have to turn this ship around. And it looks like you guys are bringing in so many different things–I love the way you use that word. What are we going to do instead? What are some of the things that you bring into your regenerative way with this approach?

Lisa (07:03):

So, the good news is, there are lots of leaders and teams that are already doing regenerative practices but might not realize it. And there are ways that leaders can lead in a more regenerative way so that their people go home at the end of the day to their families, whether that’s walking into the kitchen from their office at home or driving home, that they, instead of bringing home their leftovers, they’re bringing home their best. There are also ways that businesses and organizations can have business practices that are regenerative and aiming for a net zero or zero waste. Something like the circular economy would be one way. The good news is shifting the paradigm to regenerative and regenerative practices for leaders and for businesses is profitable. So, it’s not to say that we aren’t, don’t have to be profitable. It’s just doing it in a way that creates more momentum and synergy and energy instead of depleting it.

Lisa (08:04):

For example, in a meeting where there’s meeting fatigue and there’s a problem to solve, commonly what leaders and teams will do is they’ll start perseverating on the problem–who caused it, who to blame. And, before you know it, they’re having a ‘b’ session where they’re criticizing, condemning, complaining, shaming, and blaming. There’s a lot of energy in that room, but it’s energy that’s not moving them forward towards where they need to go. So, one simple Jedi move here is for the leader to shift the focus because people move in the direction of what their mind is focused on, and it’s easily done even by a question. And when the leadership is focused towards where we need to go instead of where we’re stuck, and they look at the problem and they look at what people’s frustrations and concerns are, they find the key focus inside that concern.

If the concern is we’re going over budget, the solution is how do we stay under budget or on budget? You flip the focus in the conversation towards where you want to go, and the physiological fact of how the body follows what the mind is focused on, the teams actually start shifting their focus in the meeting towards ‘where is it that we want to go? Why is it important that we get there when we’ve been there before? What have we done that’s worked really well? What do we have to do– more, better, different– to get there in the next two weeks, three weeks or whatever? And you will literally see people’s bodies shift from shoulders down, stress on their faces, to breathing more clearly, easily sitting up straight, standing up, excited. They shift the energy in that moment and the focus and the action towards what’s needed and wanted instead.

So, they flip the focus forward. That, in itself, is a regenerative move. And the highest, or I should say, most effective leaders and teams will do that more often. And now what we do is we make that explicit. We equip leaders on how to do that. That’s just one small example of a regenerative leadership tool that leaders and teams can do in the moment to be more regenerative. And imagine then that I’m in that meeting and instead of walking out with my knuckles dragging on the ground, and moaning about everybody else, I’m walking out feeling like I did something of value. Today, we’re actually going to solve a problem. And I’m walking out feeling good about myself and the team, and I’m standing up taller. I’m now going home with that energy instead of the stress–going home to where it matters most.

Lee (10:41):

And I might even, as that person, go talk really good stuff about that company I’m working for, you know.

Lisa (10:48):


Lee (10:49):

I mean, I’m happy, I’m happy. I’m more fulfilled and I’ve been made a part of what we’ve been focusing on and where we’re going. So, I just feel like, Lisa, is this a problem with employees? Like if they’re so removed from the organizational leaders, they may not even know what the goals of the company are and where they’re going. So, they come into these meetings already prepared for the boring drone and ‘just give me my task and let me go.’ Is that the people that do stay, that don’t, you know, talk with their feet and leave?

Lisa (11:27):

Yeah. Yeah. That sounds depressing. What you just said, it feels depressing. Well, everyone has a motivation for why they stay or why they go. And in a regenerative business, people stay for the purpose of the company, especially with the younger generation coming in. Yeah. They want to know that what they’re doing is adding value and making a difference somewhere in the world, having some kind of an impact. And that is another regenerative leadership practice, to understand my people and what motivates them. I can’t motivate them, but I can create an environment that where they feel motivated and engaged. We know research has showed with engagement levels: high engagement means high performance. I’m going to get more with my people, not from my people, but with my people. And that’s a regenerative mindset as well. Again, moving away from the extraction of what I want to get from them versus, wow, when we’re partnering, how do we move this together and feel good about it together?

Lee (12:32):

Well, and better ideas are born when there’s more people in the room. So, people want to work for a company with purpose, especially these younger generations, which makes perfect sense. But when one of these regenerative tools is to understand my people so that you can motivate them, is that done individually or is there a way to do it, to motivate them as a team? How does a leader go about understanding their people?

Lisa (13:04):

Through conversation.  You have to get to know your people. And that’s, that’s bringing in the human, being human at work. Again, if one thing that being on Zoom so much in the last three years has taught me is I’m seeing people in all of who they are.  An example with this one woman, she was on a leadership training program on Zoom. Her toddler was climbing the credenza in her dining room behind her, and we’re all gasping as the baby’s about to fall. So ,we’re like, “Oh my gosh, this woman is managing her life.”  Oh. And then, you know, the nine-year-old is in school and she’s helping them teach. And you know, it’s crazy. Or this other leader could only meet with us and have privacy in a bathroom. And so , it’s a way to say we’re human and that means we need to have conversations.

Lisa (13:52):

We need to get to know who each other is–what makes us tick. People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. Right? That’s a small adage. And that’s a regenerative leader–they show that they care about their people. And when people know that they’re cared for and they’re valued, they will give back. Because there’s a principle in human systems of belonging in the balance of give-and-take. If I know that I have a place–a valued place in this organization–and you value me, and I know where my place is, and you’ve sought to understand me and what is important to me through conversation one-on-one, or a team event or team retreat, I’m going to give more because I know you’re filling my cup and I’m going to fill the business’s cup. It’s a synergistic relationship that, in itself, is regenerative.

Lee (14:55):

It seems so simple. I just don’t understand that businesses and leaders, do they just get so removed? Or is this just the way it’s been?

Lisa (15:07):

I think it’s just the way it’s been, and we’ve accepted it, you know, so the answers have been stress management courses, time management courses–

Lee (15:16):

Anger management.

Lisa (15:17):

Anger management and the like. Let’s get to the roots and build each other’s core.  I think this is more important now than ever. You know, the uncertainties, the wave of uncertainties at Continuum, we call them novel unknowns, right? They come and it’s like, oh, sh– you fill in the blank– shoot.

Lee (15:39):


Lisa (15:40):

Oh my gosh, what do we do? And we laser focus and we go into crisis mode. I think you said it before, you know, we’re in constant crisis management and that is depleting, right? That stress is extremely depleting. So, how do we get out of it? What we can do for each other is build that core, that positive core, that regenerative core like a tree, right? Regenerative practices are also based on biomimicry from nature. Nature teaches us a lot about being regenerative. Nature has zero waste. So, how can businesses have zero waste? So, we can come back to that. Beautiful. But how do we support people in knowing their core values–core part of their DNA–businesses and teams knowing their core values. They can hold up the mirror and say, “Yes, this is who we are. Those are the roots of the tree.” So, when the tree is swaying in the wind and uncertainty, it’s staying grounded in its trunk That’s right. It has resources in it. It knows its purpose. It’s becoming more of itself even more. And its resources. So, if its limb gets cut off, it knows how to heal that wound. Part of the regenerative is healing.

Lee (16:55):

Regenerative. Yeah.

Lisa (16:57):

It’s regenerative.

Lee (18:22):

I love that. And I love the roots’ part. It’s similar to what we do at Soul Story Creative. The roots are what holds the business together. In a lot of companies, organizations aren’t even really looking at the talents and skills. They’re just plugging people in and the job they applied for. Yeah. And that’s the job they applied for. And they can tick all the boxes. Do they love it? No, but they can do it. They’ve been doing it for 30 years. What if there’s a dormant beautiful skill or gift that that person has? Does your regenerative way make room for that person to open to those? And the leaders see that?

Lisa (19:08):

Absolutely. That’s the canopy of their tree–finding out all the facets of that person. And there’s a watch out there, right? Because as human, our human nature is to laser in on things we don’t want, right? We in business, we get the score card and we look at the red, we get the survey results and it’s like, where did we lose points?  And, because innately we want to be better, we want to be our best expression of ourselves, we want to move forward, we want to heal. So, let’s leverage that innate need and desire and support it and nurture it in moving in that direction.

And, instead of just focusing on, “Oh look, that person didn’t perform in that area. Oh, hey Lee, did you know that person didn’t perform in that area?” And then you tell the next person, and before you know it, we’re all only looking myopically at that person with that one fault instead of, or just that one attribute that we think they’re good at, instead of exploring their whole canopy or all their facets of the diamond of who they are. And that is a trait that is a regenerative leadership trait. But the other thing I think really importantly is we’ve talked a lot about leadership in teams. Businesses must move quickly and adopt regenerative business practices. They must move in a direction of net zero and zero waste. They must. And there are many big companies out there. We all know them. I don’t know if it’s okay to name them on your podcast.


No, that’s fine.

Lisa (20:41):

No, I see like United–I fly United Airlines all the time–and it had a big campaign several months ago, you know, zero carbon by 2050.  I think that’s the date that they said. And I was like, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” Awesome way to go, United–2050 isn’t going to cut the mustard. We have 10 years, if that. The good news is we can do what’s needed to ensure human’s vitality and existence on the planet well into the future. We have to act now. And businesses have the money, the power, and the influence to make that transformation. So, the challenge ahead of us is how to leverage our influence with these Fortune 50, 100, 500 business leaders and other organizations and businesses? Because even the smallest business can make a difference. How do we influence them to see their potential, to be able to leverage their resources and their power and their money and influence to make the shifts that need to be made.

Who’s going to have the courage to say, “We’re going to shift the way we do business so that we know not only are we making a profit and we’re supporting our people, but we are making the difference for the planet that’s necessary.”

Lee (22:00):

So, we’re here for generations to come.

Lisa (22:02):

It is the triple bottom line. And Wendy and I at Continuum have been advocates of the triple bottom line since, you know, the mid-nineties when we started before anyone.

Lee (22:13):

That’s right. Talking about that, and you’ve already introduced the fourth bottom line of consciousness, you know, compassion and conscious business. You know that that’s what I love about that book Sacred Commerce. But you know what, I can see how Continuum is fostering that. You walk like you talk, I mean you have your own outlet to give back that I think you give 5% or something of everything that comes in, right?

Right off the top before people get paid.

Lisa (22:55):

Absolutely. And, that lights us up. That excites Wendy and me more than, well, as much as making a difference in the world because it is making a difference in the world. 5% off the top and Continuum gives back one–we take 1% of the 5% and goes to 1% for the Planet, an amazing organization that any of us can give 1% to. And then they distribute it to worthy organizations that are making it different for the planet. And then a good portion of it, right now, we also give to our very new nonprofit called Let’s Choose Love. I think you’re going to interview Wendy in one of your podcasts.

Lee (23:30):

We have that podcast in our collection. So, you guys, that’s Lisa Marie’s partner Wendy White who is heading up Let’s Choose Love. So, for the listeners, we’ll put that link in the show notes page.

Lisa (23:47):

Yeah. Wonderful. And we all know, right? Tithing, whether you call it tithing or give back, the energy flow of money and abundance is that when you give, it comes back. That’s that balance of give and take. So, we get so excited the more we give of our 5% through the mini grants of Let’s Choose Love or giving to the communities in which we live and work, then the more comes back to us. Not because we’re marketing that we do that, it just is happening, and more comes back and the more business we have and the bigger our team gets, the more we make, the more we can give. That is the regenerative loop. That’s like a circular economy loop. There’s zero waste. And what it starts to do is create more of itself. Because momentum creates momentum. Success creates success. That which is in motion stays in motion. That inertia, that’s part of the science behind the regenerative practice.

Lee (24:43):

Well, this has just been great. I love what you guys are doing. The zero waste, the circular economy, there’s just nothing that is not going to move the organization’s needle forward. With happier people working for the company, it gets its own momentum; it’s regenerative. You’re creating, you know, and with the net zero, I love it all. So, as we wrap up, is there anything you’d like to add?


Yes. And that is, this isn’t new or different really, it’s just a different frame to look at what we’re capable of doing. All of us are regenerative in our lives, and it’s important that we’re doing more of it more intentionally. Whether it’s you personally, you as a leader, teams, businesses, organizations, communities, or humanity as a whole being more regenerative. And when we do, we will be happier, healthier, thrive and be way beyond sustainability. We will be here for many generations to come. One way to do that is to be conscious of what you focus on because what you focus on expands and you move in that direction—that, in itself, will get you regenerative returns.

Lee (26:03):

I love that. That was your first simple tool, you know–just to shift focus in those meetings, and you’ve got a whole new meeting with happier people and a solution to that problem that you are meeting about rather than that grumbling. Just wonderful. Okay. So, how can our listeners find you guys?

Lisa (26:25):

Lots of places. They can email us and it’s my first and last name, And they can also find us on our website, There are lots of resources there. They can sign up for our newsletter, which is a compilation of our blogs. They can follow our blogs on LinkedIn and Instagram. And at the bottom of our emails, if they email us or go to our website, they can click directly to any of those links.


Okay. Perfect. We’ll put all of those links into the show notes page for you. Thanks.

Lisa (27:17):

And you know, and Lee if anybody is interested in exploring this more and want a complimentary consultation, I’m happy to set that up. They just reach out. We can talk more about what that is, what their challenges are and how they want to flip that around to be more regenerative.


Okay, wonderful. Thank you. That is so, so generous. So, we’ll put that in if they want to just have that, that complimentary consultation to explore what the regenerative way might look in their organization. Lisa, it’s been wonderful. We’ll have to have you come back and let’s see how Continuum is going to go out there and change the world. We need you so bad companies and organizations are going to have such a much easier time adopting The Regenerative Way, I’m sure of it.

Lisa (28:10):

Thank you. Thanks Lee. We’re doing this together. We couldn’t do it without partnerships with people like you.

Lee (28:16):

Thank you so much.

Producer (28:21):

Thanks for tuning in to Business Leaders with Soul.  We hope you enjoyed this discussion into the mind of one of today’s authentic thought leaders. We’ll be back with another powerful perspective in the next podcast. So be sure to subscribe, to get notifications and please share with others. You can connect with us by following Soul Story Creative on LinkedIn or by visiting soul story where we don’t tell you who to be. We show the world who you are. We look forward to seeing you next time.

Lisa Marie Main, co-founder and partner for Continuum Consulting Services, is an accomplished leader, trainer, consultant, executive coach and facilitator of interactions that lead to alignment and results-based action for business and organizational leaders around the world.