Business could occupy a very different space in society.
There are lots of stereotypes about business and generalising about what it stands for.
Currently, people don’t think of business as a place to get impartial advice or help. It’s seen as serving its own interests and willing to screw people and the planet to get more profits. In general terms “business” is not trusted by the public.
I imagine a world in which the social contract looks very different. Where companies take seriously the privilege they are afforded to do business by the community at large. If the local and global community doesn’t respect the way they do business, and why they do business, they know they are hard pressed to last very long.
I imagine a world in which people bring themselves to work in a way that allows them to be whole human beings. To acknowledge when they are having a hard time and get the support that serves them best. This might be flexible working options and it might mean paid time off work to help them get back to where they are best able to serve themselves, their families and their work communities. Where people are valued beyond lip service, where a company that is struggling financially will first ask themselves, how can I inspire my teams to innovate out of this low revenue phase? And the very last option is to let people go.
I imagine a world in which the companies that do best are the ones that serve communities and global values. The ones that care about the impact they make and want to do everything possible to make that a positive and where possible a restorative impact. The care for the broader context is not just pretty words on a website, it’s not even stated, it’s acted upon, it’s self-evident.
I imagine a world in which business works with government to ensure public value is funded to enable public service to be delivered effectively and efficiently. They recognise if they have respect and government doesn’t that an injury to one is an injury to all. They recognise that business and government are on the same team and they value roads, schools and hospitals as an integral part of society that we all benefit from and support initiatives that provide sufficient funding for these social mechanisms.
I believe we can do better business when we do business better. I believe people want to do their best and, for the most part, are disempowered. I believe we have inadvertently created structures that prevent excellence. Culture and mindsets, that when we can see them for what they are and how we contribute to them they cease to have the same power over us.
My work is about empowering leaders at every level and learning the skills it will take to ignite a new paradigm of leadership, one that is human-centred, and transport us strongly and powerfully into the future of work.