A Tribute to a Great Friend

A tribute, to a great friend, an advocate for abundance-based agreements, an entrepreneur who brought “more life” to millions of people through care for their feet, a philanthropist.  My mentor Jim Throneburg passed last week.  We met 16 years ago.  He inspired me with his work, his vision for what a community—a business—could be.  For what self-discovery leadership could be, every day.  We learned, we evolved, together.  He provided a first example of and a laboratory for ecosynomics.  Jim, I will miss you, we will miss you. Thank you for the many experiences we had together.

Guest post — Reflections on “Homo lumens” post

Guest post – Jim Throneburg, founder of THORLO

I love the observation in the “homo lumens” post, but I have a couple of things I think are a little misleading by making it seem that the cost of engaging people is low. I have to challenge that, on principle.

I distinguish between the “cost” of a salary and the “investment” in supporting growth and development. As far as the cost of the salaries of the people engaged, I agree with the point you make, there is little to no difference in this cost. And this misses the significant investment required to support the on-going growth and development for both the individual and the group. This can be significant, such as the time spent in dialogs, workshops, and coaching-feedback sessions, which for us easily reaches 10-15% of the individual’s salary. This investment is not little, as your blog suggests.

And, by focusing on the cost plus the investment, one can then ask about the return on this investment. Here I agree with you. The net result, the “synergistic savings,” can be huge. For example, we saved over $5million from just such a shift in agreements for a group of 50 people. So, if you take the net effect of the synergistic savings into account, I agree with what you say.


previous post on “From Human Resources to Homo lumens”




Practical Principles for Living Higher Levels of Harmonic Vibrancy in an Organization

Research at the Institute for Strategic Clarity has identified many organizations and communities experiencing higher levels of harmonic vibrancy and superior performance outcomes.  To share what we are learning within these organizations, we are capturing their stories in video.

In this video, I interview Jim Throneburg, the founder of THORLO, the leader in preventive foot health, through clinically-tested padded socks.  He shares THORLO’s five principles, in the form of a pyramid, that support its superior outcomes and its experience of decades of higher levels of harmonic vibrancy.  Click here to see the video.

Guest post — Self-discovery Leadership

Guest post by Jim Throneburg 

The essence and secret of the leadership required in these unprecedented times is Self-discovery.  Only by awakening into the higher Self who lives – largely concealed and unconscious – within each of us can we realize our own possibilities and enable others to do the same.  The challenge, “Know thyself,” has been the heart of wisdom since ancient times and remains urgently so today.  As it says in the Gospel of Thomas, when you know your true Self, you will know yourself as Co-Creator with your higher power and you shall be known.  However, if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and you are poverty.

These are the foundational principles of Self-discovery Leadership.  Its purpose is to foster expanded capacities of Self-awareness, Self-responsibility, and Self-reliance.  These are the sources of the power to transform the experience of life as Scarcity into one of inner and outer Abundance.  A great many leadership development programs claim to offer “the basics,” but do not engage people at this level.  Whatever other competencies are required, it is our conviction that these are the true basics, without which it will not be possible to create the communities we now need at every level of society.

To share more broadly what we have learned about these principles over the past decade with over fifty leaders in the THORLO community, we founded the Academy for Self-discovery Leadership, a 501(c)(3) organization, which is chartered to support self-discovery and leadership.  In support of this charter, the Academy’s curriculum is one of “whole relational wellness.”  The common theme running throughout is the development and practice of enhanced Awareness of participants’ relationships: first and foremost, with themselves – including with their bodies and with food – as well as with others.  This takes place in an exceptional environment of mutual trust and regard, a rare no-judgment zone.  Participants feel encouraged and safe.  They authentically share intimate experiences they have in carrying out simple exercises in their relationships with themselves, other individuals, their respective groups and communities, and with life as a Whole.

If you want to learn more about these principles through the offerings of the Academy, contact Jim Ritchie-Dunham.

Jim Throneburg, the founder of THORLO brings his lifetime of work on self-discovery leadership within his own community to the founding of the Academy for Self-discovery Leadership, based in Statesville, North Carolina.

[Jim comments: Our research at ISC into the experiences of over 1,400 responses to the Harmonic Vibrancy survey show that the quality of leadership people experience in higher vibrancy groups, which achieve stronger outcomes on a sustainable basis, is one that embodies the principles described in this blogpost as “self-discovery leadership.”  Leaders start by taking on their own potential, choosing their own development, and delivering results continuously, from the abundance of choice in possibility, development, and outcomes.  Some of the higher vibrancy groups we have found choose to share what they are learning, paying forward the gift they have received.  To me the Academy for Self-discovery Leadership is a great example of that.]

Living Ecosynomics: Brand Stewardship at THORLO

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications

Ritchie-Dunham, James, James Throneburg, and Michael Puleo. 2010. Living Ecosynomics: Brand Stewardship at THORLO, White Paper, Belchertown, MA: Institute for Strategic Clarity, October.

This is a story about a company whose idealistic and successful leader has long been engaged in re-inventing it as an American-based, community-rooted, sustainable manufacturer and retailer. Entrepreneurial leaders, at their best, are valued for a capacity to read the changes taking place in the world and respond creatively to open up new value creating opportunities.

Jim Throneburg (JLT), owner and CEO of THORLO, a well-known hosiery company in Statesville, NC, sensed several years ago that as he got older, he was facing a management succession issue not uncommon to entrepreneurial companies. After several failed attempts at stepping back and letting his management team run the business, transforming THORLO’s business model into a something that was high performing and sustainable became a very strong mandate. The main issue was that nobody, including JLT, was able to make explicit and put in practice what JLT knew how to do unconsciously – what he calls his unconscious competence.