The ‘Being Human’ Organisation of the twenty-first century


‘It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.’ Unknown

The other day, a news item on Johnson & Johnson caught my attention. About the company accepting charges of bribery to promote its antipsychotic drug Risperdal to children and people with developmental disabilities and agreeing to pay USD 2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines. My thoughts go out to another disparate case closer home where a reputed business group stands charged of selling fake machinery parts as genuine, endangering people’s lives while making huge profits.

What is it that makes an organisation declare values to which it does not adhere to? What is it that makes multinational corporations like Johnson & Johnson spend millions to create a brand equity of “love and care” while bribing to ‘push’ a controversial drug onto people who need love and care the most?

I muse about my own self. As I think of who I am and what I do at work, I notice significant dichotomies. As an individual working in the corporate world for three decades, I see that I have conditioned myself to believe that the value systems which apply to me at the individual level no longer remain valid as soon as I wear my organisational hat. Be it in aspects of transparency, business ethics, environmental concerns and several other areas. Somehow, I have developed the underlying belief that these fall lower in priority than the core business objectives of top line and bottom line growth. I must confess that I have rarely questioned why it should be so.

What is it that has conditioned me so? I think of how organizations evolved in the last century. Of how they have remained focused on achieving growth and profit objectives alone. Of how Organisations have ‘learned’ ways to pass on the costs of their activities for others to pay. Of how this behaviour resulted in the 2008 global financial crisis when companies created bad debt and exported that all over the world.

As I wear the organisational hat, I can see the intrinsic conflicts that I face.

• Do I achieve success by maximising Shareholder wealth or do I take the path of social responsibility?
• Do I increase profits or do I take responsibility for an environment crying out for help?
• Do I indulge in rampant business expansion or do I ensure avoidance of exploitation?

tight-rope-walker-pink_pan_14115

In the 2003 award wining documentary film, ‘ The Corporation’, University of British Columbia professor and author Joel Bakan asks, ‘If a corporation is a person, what type of a person is it?’ The documentary goes on to show that most organisations comprise of network of conversations that are inconsistent, dissonant and cluttered. The conversations exhibit the qualities and attributes that, if the organisation were to be a person, it would be termed a psychopath. The induced organisational behaviour from such a conversational clutter ranges from “callous disregard for people’s feelings, incapability to maintain human relationships, deceiving for profit, inability to feel guilt and complete disregard for the safety of others.”

Clearly the world seems to be reaching an inflexion point. Jay Deragon, in a recent blog post titled ‘Being Human’ says, “It seems odd to think that business leaders are just now recognizing that their business results have a direct correlation to the organizations ability to think, act, speak and feel in human terms. Yet instead of measuring the organization’s human abilities, leaders still focus on measuring, thinking and chasing outcomes in financial terms.”

Consciousness has arisen that for sustainability there needs to be an alignment and acceptance of the core human values at the organisational level too. To me that is a wonderful shift and a significant evolutionary development.

So with such consciousness what could be the way forward?

creativity-training-eye

Authors Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan in their path breaking book, ‘The Three Laws of Performance’ point to a direction as they suggest the need for organisations to transform themselves into being “Self-led”. This ‘Self’ arises from all people and stakeholders participating in the organisation’s network of conversations. So how do we do that? By first shifting away from the belief that “we need to involve only those who need to be involved”. As I look inwards, I realize that this belief arises from my apprehension of a ‘loss of control’. But as I choose to allow external stakeholders into my network of conversations, I am able to shift them into a space where they feel they can contribute. A shift away from ‘we don’t trust you’ and towards ‘let’s all of us get involved in the success vision of our business’.

Can we see the need for us to contextualize our ‘organisation hat’ wearing persona in the society within which we are embedded and exist? Methinks every one of us needs to become an active player in this great initiative. For in this resides the opportunity to find the balance we seek in the world today.

In Learning………… Shakti Ghosal

Acknowledgements:

1)The Corporation– a documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, 2003 : http://www.thecorporation.com

2)Being Human creates higher returns– a blog by Jay Deragon:
http://www.relationship-economy.com/2013/10/being-human-creates-higher- returns/

3)The Three Laws of Performance- Rewriting the Future of your Organisation and your life by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan, Aug.2011: http://www.threelawsofperformance.com/

Advertisements

56 thoughts on “The ‘Being Human’ Organisation of the twenty-first century

  1. Unfortunately for many businesses– money/profits is the bottom line. They’ll even weigh if the fine is more worth it than the safety upgrade, unless things get too out of hand. Many thanx for sharing this post and for visiting my blog. Have a wonderful day. Peace.

    • You are right, Businesses do start seeing the short time objective of immediate profits as a long term sustainable goal. And Managements do get conditioned to convey this priority throughout the organisation. So what is it each one of us do to build up the requisite consciousness of some of the ‘Being human’ characteristics?

      Thank you for taking the time to comment here, I appreciate.

      Shakti

  2. This reminds me of a manufacturing company I worked for way back in the early ’90’s. I was in Quality Assurance at the time, and the company hired a new QA Manager who had grand ideas about changing the culture of the company, trying to make us more about involvement and transparency. He met a lot of resistance – quite a bit of it from other managers – and the parent corporation gave us about a year before they gutted the management team and installed a new regime. As I put it at the time, we went from Warm and Fuzzy to Cold and Slimy.

    It came down to profit. They could hold all the seminars they wanted, hire all the consultants they wanted, but from day one the clock was ticking, and the only measure that ultimately mattered was, “Will this increase profits?” That singular goal is the problem, and the perspective change that comes along with changing “organizational hats”, as you put it, is what fosters it. I’m not a black and white thinker; situational ethics is a necessary part of life. But psychopaths, be they individuals or corporations, have no place in a civilized society.

    In my simple way of thinking, the problem is selfishness, whether we’re talking about an individual or a corporation. So long as it’s me/us first, so long as the law of the jungle prevails, we are encouraging exploitation, gross inequity, and economic warfare. I applaud corporations that at least acknowledge the need to be socially responsible, but the motive needs to come from the “heart” – to be sincere – not just represent good PR.

    I agree with you that the best way forward is more involvement at every level of organization – “us” instead of “us and them”. And the best organizations recognize that not only do all of their members contribute, but they are all responsible as well.

    • Great example and I can see so much of learning in all that you have written.Indeed the motive, any motive to succeed and sustain needs to come from the heart as you say. What I visualised in the post was something beyond the ‘involvement of every level in the organisation’.What is needed is “involvement” of all stakeholders, internal and external. Easier said than done of course but if attempted, holds the potential of bringing in checks and balances which would ensure broadening of objectives beyond profits apart form an ownership mindset.

      Thank you for the comment. I appreciate.

      Shakti

  3. Personal integrity is essential for a person’s overall health. Self-deceit comes from deceiving others. Defiance leads to using – people, sex , drugs, alcohol – anything to feel good. The same must be true in a large organization. Who would like to work for deceiving cheats?
    ~ Eric

    • Hi Eric,

      I find that a great comment as it triggers certain other thoughts in me.

      I am quoting from an article I recently read titled, “Foundation of leadership” by Werner H. Erhard and Michael C. Jensen.In this the authors define integrity as something that is ‘whole and complete’. They go on to further say, “… the incompleteness, emptiness, and pain expressed by the common question: Is this all there is?” which transcends the argument to a philosophical plane.

      Along with Integrity, the authors speak of ‘being committed to something bigger than oneself’ which can be such a powerful enabling mechanism, be it in an organisation as also in our own lives.

      I can only surmise that as individuals and organisations make the shift towards the integrity and commitment as above, the need for deceit and defiance would go away.

      Thank you taking the time to comment, I appreciate.

      Shakti

  4. I’d say that the internal conflicts aren’t conflicts – both objectives in each statement can be achieved.
    And if they are achieved to maximize profit, well that’s fine too, as long as better behavior becomes the standard.

    • Well it is not only about better behaviour but sustainability and achieving a balance with the environment.What is it that leadership needs to do to achieve that?

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate.

      Shakti

  5. Everything you say rings true.This is why I don’t like stock markets…. capitalism without morality. Private business needs to pay its employees, overhead and make a profit. If the profit is higher one year and less the next, and perhaps breaks even, it’s okay. The business can continue, it’s employees keep working. There is room to make ethical decisions that could cost, but not bring a company to its knees..
    Once on the public market, the demand is for higher profit every year. Anything must be done to maintain increasing profit margins. Herein lies lay offs, and a very fertile ground for capitalism without morality.
    I hope I have explained my thoughts well. I’m not the best at articulating, and I am a creative person, not a business person.

    • Hi Resa,

      You have so nicely outlined how and where the evil of “Capitalism without morality”- to use your phrase- originates. But our question (and the consequent endeavour) needs to go beyond this. And I would like to articulate it like this.

      “So as we understand the compulsions behind corporate unethical behaviour, what could we do to realign the Corporate world with what benefits society?”

      My post attempts to find some answers to this. The emergence of the ” Self Led ” organisations, to my mind, can go a long way in this regard.

      Thank you for your great comment. I appreciate.

      Shakti

  6. Hi Shakti,
    I came by to see the blog of the man who was kind enough to post a word of encouragement on mine. What a thought provoking post. I read all the comments as well and I see you have an interesting group here. I think, with many of your other commenters, that we are on the cusp of a huge change. I will have to think over many of the things I’ve heard and learned today and comment further, perhaps. How exciting to hear the ideas that I’ve found wisping around inside me half formed, to be here and articulated so beautifully.
    Thanks again for leading me to your blog. I loved reading about your Uncle and Grandmother, too. Such a beautiful post.
    Merry Christmas and I hope to read more from you in the New Year.

    • Hi Laura,

      As we stand at the doorway of a season which teaches us the Art of Giving, your comment resonates. Thank you!

      I do look forward to having you as a frequent visitor and someone with the intention to add value to the discussions.

      Wish you and your family too merry Christmas and an empowering and purposeful New Year ahead.

      Blessings

      Shakti Ghosal

    • You have so beautifully zeroed in on the core issue.

      So what remains at the heart of this split that compels us to cover up? I have tried to offer a possible road map which could support each one of us to shift out of that space of fraud we are living into. A pathway which could change the default future which otherwise is coming our way.

      Thank you for your incisive comment, I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

  7. Oh my God, Shakti. I never heard this. It is SO alarming. My sister had Risperidol – she may be still on it, I think. But CHILDREN. Damn I hate what money brings out in some. And fake machinery parts. My GOD THAT IS CRIMINAL.

    Oh Shakti, excellent post. I love your self reflection (and that you are an independent agent). And what you say that consciousness has risen – re sustainability, that is so reassuring about the human race. I am still blown away by your opening statements… but a great post. Solid.

    • Consciousness has indeed arisen, but methinks more so from compulsions of sustainability in a fast and increasingly awareness and transparency oriented planet rather than a rise in morality. But the positive aspect of this is the increased alignment to core human values that corporations are attempting.

      There may be nothing wrong with the drug Risperidol per se; the issue was more with the unethical way the company had pushed it through medical practitioners

      Thank you for your comment and taking the time to post it here. I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

  8. Excellent post on a great subject. The problem is that corporations have been given privileges that would never be granted to individuals for example, the privilege of limited liability, of living forever and of not letting worker and community interference affect their behavior. We never had a problem with the banks when they were private partnerships. The problems started when they became public corporations.

    • Hi Malcolm,

      You are right. The issue does revolve around the several privileges that corporations had been given. But this had been based on the assumption that a corporation, by its very nature and decision making construct involving several persons, would behave rationally and ethically. Unfortunately the performance linked compensation structures which came in skewed the whole thinking within.

      The time has therefore come for the evolution of the “Self Led” organisation with all stakeholders having a say in its direction.

      Thanking you for commenting here. I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

  9. Loved reading through your post and some of your comments here too… I was especially interested when you said “As I look inwards, I realize that this belief arises from my apprehension of a ‘loss of control’.”
    So many now in business which to be ‘In Control’ what they say goes, no questions as their beliefs in their ideals is pushed as many still wish to be the top of their world so to speak..

    I think the way forward is perhaps as in some instances which are proving successful is in Co-operatives.. where by ALL are part of the Whole. each feeling they have importance.. Each contributing and feeling a part..

    I can only go on my own ‘In Business’ experience as I saw how people would walk over colleagues in order to score points with the higher up bosses, snatching other’s ideas off as their own… The World of business has become very ‘Cut-throat;’ as each compete and strive to beat their competitors and the human traits of survival kicks in with ruthless disregard in many instances of others feelings.. Until it rebounds and returns..
    For such is the Energy of the Universe as we have spoken of before Shakti, as things come around in a circular fashion as we see the cycles of progression within the wheels of time.

    My own rule of thumb even in my climbing of ladder days within the Textile trade was to be fair and try and treat everyone with respect and how I would wish to be treated… Unfortunately many do no always posses the same morals and have some tough decisions to make.

    We are seeing many BIG corporations who have been brutal in their dealings with others now being exposed I use the ‘Banks’ as an example. One thing I have learnt about the Universal Laws is that there is no escaping their principles of the Law of Cause and Effect!, and the cycle will return eventually to their creation…
    I see this happening now on a more global scale, as we see the Monetary situations around our globe, the once well off nations now struggle as the 3rd World is no longer the 3rd but is prospering ever faster, even though some too are now using the same cut-corner, profit tactics.. As you mention with substandard parts, and corruption…

    Where will this all end??? who knows, but I feel that the world in general will only go on in its present profit before people policy only for so long.. As ‘The System’ can not carry on in this same vein for ever…

    Whether that will mean a Monetary failure of massive scale or will Nature intervene and show man just how little his profit margins mean when faces with REAL Survival…

    I only know something is going to have to give soon…. and I do not envy our younger generations who will be picking up the pieces form the Mess we are leaving the world in..

    Thank you dear Shakti for your wonderful visit I always look forward to your wisdom and Send you and your family my Blessings for a wonderful Peaceful and Happy Christmas..

    Sue

    • Dear Sue,

      As always, I loved this comment of yours.

      What resonated with me was the aspect of Co-operatives you have brought in.Yes, I can see how a Co-operative structure would bring in the sense of ownership and thereby effectively lead into a “Self Led” organisation which I have referred to in my post.

      You say, ” …the world in general will only go on in its present profit before people policy only for so long.. As ‘The System’ can not carry on in this same vein for ever.” That is also the premise on which I have based my post. I believe we are at the edge of a massive change. A change brought in by the sheer force of technology fuelled networks, transparency and information access. A change that would force each one of us to shift from a “Command and Control” mindset to one of collaboration with ALL Stakeholders. That is the premise of a “Self Led” organisation.

      Will we live to see that day when the shift is complete? I do not know but it behoves each one of us to play the role of a catalyst.

      So Sue, are you ready to play such a role?

      Cheers

      Shakti

      • Times are forever changing Shakti, and I firmly believe we will see in the next year more changes still, which will make us ALL question the ‘Command and Control’ mindset.. for I believe as we have witnessed corruption being exposed this year more truths will emerge to help bring about those ‘Shifts’ to take place.. Where by many will see we need to take the control away from the few and share out in more transparent ways where ALL are equal, and ALL are supported.. Instead of it being for just a handful of elite beings who rake in the high profits of the hard-work of the many..
        I live to see the day when we understand there is no need for poverty, homelessness, or the deprived…. It will not happen perhaps in my own life time… but those being born now will see we cannot continue in this same system of Greed…

        May I wish you and your family Shakti a wonderful Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year..
        Blessings Sue xox

      • Dear Sue,

        On this Christmas Day, what a beautiful comment, full of hope and forward seeking positivity! Thank you. May all your hopes and wishes come true.

        Blessings

        Shakti

  10. Hi Shakti! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and interesting question! 🙂

    My blog allows me to maintain mental discipline and keeps me engaged.

    As well as the blog I also email four friends daily and send snail mail to a friend in Russia so she can practice her English and an American woman who lives alone in the desert breeding dogs and horses.

    Neither have written to me in some time because Gina (American) is on the internet and Katherine has no money to spare for frivolities, but she does send me a Christmas card! 🙂

    Knowing I have an interested readership allows me to spend my time with them and share their lives! 🙂

    Merry Christmas and God Bless! 🙂

    Prenin.

  11. Shakti, Sorry I am a bit late but after reading your blog today, I feel compelled to complement you on the thoughts behind it.

    Yes, corporation is a person in a sense and in a sense only. By defining it as a person, one attributes to it an independence of thought that obviously it does not possess. It is really a creature of a group of individuals who decide what its “values” are and should be. But how these are translated into practise is done by another group of individuals who may or may not subscribe to those values. (It is another matter that those who lay down those values may not themselves believe in them).

    There is always a point of view that a corporation is a purely economic entity and as such, it does not, and should not possess any moral or ethical values. This is the gist of the famous thesis by Milton Friedman, and taken further by the agency theorists including Eugene Fama just awarded the Nobel Prize. This assumption, for it is not a theory but an assumption, has led to managers doing things for which they need not feel guilty at all. The boss at LIC mentioned by Mr.Bhattacharjee may not be a sadistic person, indeed he may even have felt that he is not doing the right things, but has to follow the rules of the corporation. I am sure he had no sense of guilt at passing such an order. Thus the corporate person is really an anaesthetist, who can render people void of sensation.

    Indeed it appears to me that there are two categories of wrong acts that are done by people. One knows fully well that they are doing something wrong. This may be offering illegal gratifications to secure business, when none is required. The second is when people follow the rules and treat themselves merely as agents of the corporation and commit acts for which they are not responsible. A judge awarding a death sentence is likely to consider himself as a killer of people or the police officer who orders a firing to control a riotous mob.

    There are, however, w whole category of acts that really involve trade-offs and people have to select where they want to trade-off. This is where judgment comes in. As you have mentioned, people need to introspect, and develop their own moral compass.

    • Dear Sir,

      What a wonderful comment. It in fact deserves to be a separate post in itself!

      Indeed as a corporate person, we justify our actions, even thoughts, based on how we choose to interpret the policies, the intrinsic need to achieve commercial objectives and to maintain the prevailing command and control structure. As you have rightly said, we see ourselves working as the company’s agents and thus justify our actions and behaviour as being aligned to it’s needs.Your examples of the judge and police officer further reinforce this aspect by reiterating that in “our call of duty” we cannot and should not bring in our own moral compass.

      My thoughts, based of course on my own experiences, however go beyond the aspect of morality and ethics. I somehow sense that corporations would no longer be able to sustain based on pure commercial objectives.Technology has become a big enabler for the active engagement of other stakeholders in the environment apart from higher real time transparency. Our current leadership style thus needs to undergo a sea change to achieve performance breakthroughs in the future.This is where I envisage the coming in of “self led” organisations.

      I am in fact working on developing leadership workshops for performance breakthroughs built around the concept of performance laws based on the book that I have referred to.

      Thank you once again, Sir, for coming in with your comment here. I truly appreciate.

      Kind Regards

      Shakti Ghosal

  12. Dear Shakti, I do appreciate your concern in the term ”Corporation”. Corporations or for that matter Companies created by a legislation in the State Legislature or by enactment of a legislation in the Parliament are like individuals a person in the eye of Law,It is not possible to physically assault a Corporation but it can be taken to task legally through Courts of Law.I remember in 1962 when I was threatened by Life Insurance Corporation of India when I asked for an increment of Rs.5.00 after I passed the B.Com(Hons) Examination from Gauhati University. The LICI through its Divisional Manger proposed to take a disciplinary action for passing B.Com without specific and written permission from the Corporation. After exchange of procedural methods of inquiry for a period of one and half years and on the basis of the report submitted by the investigating Officer it was proposed to deffer my annual increment by six months. In reply I wrote to the Divisional Manager with copy to the Zonal Manager and the Chairman to permit me to go to the Court after receipt of which the case was withdrawn. This was a case of alleged violation of the procedural system of the Corporation.Though I was interacting with the designated Officer but my fight was against the .Corporation.This perhaps will help to explain and clear your doubts. -Dada

    • Dear Dada,

      What a pleasure to see you here! Hope you are doing fine.

      That is such a wonderful example you have brought in. In fact, as Dr. S. Manikutty has said so aptly in his comment, and I quote, “….when people follow the rules and treat themselves merely as agents of the corporation and commit acts for which they are not responsible. A judge awarding a death sentence is likely to consider himself as a killer of people or the police officer who orders a firing to control a riotous mob.”

      My thoughts in the post were really not about the corporation per se but what changes in Leadership are warranted to achieve performance breakthroughs going forward.

      Thank you for the comment, I appreciate.

      Regards

      Shakti

  13. Shakti, two things stick out for me here:

    1. “I see that I have conditioned myself to believe that the value systems which apply to me at the individual level no longer remain valid as soon as I wear my organisational hat.” (powerful insight)

    2. I wish all corporate people would ask the kinds of questions of themselves as individuals that you are asking here. (My husband and I saw The Corporation, by the way.) What a catalyst for change, on a sweeping human level, should such a thing be accomplished! Even if 55% of corporate people did this … what shifts would be possible?!

    Blessings.

    • Dear Bela,

      It feels so nice to have you visit and comment here.

      The first aspect is self realisation. I can scarcely claim that as part of the corporate world, I have always done the right thing in terms of integrity and transparency.As I look back, I do see aspects which could be deemed improper, if not downright non-ethical. But at that point in time, I had never seen it that way!

      I somehow sense that there now exists a core of leadership, albeit still in significant minority, who possess higher consciousness about the need to shift corporations into the “Self led” format. I believe that is a wonderful shift happening, and not a day too soon, as this would go a long way towards improving the sustainability and relevance of such entities in a fast changing world.

      Blessings

      Shakti

  14. Shakti, I am a bit late. Non the less I thoroughly enjoyed your essay. You are speaking of corporate ethics. You also speak of ethics and the human being. Ethics must develope on the “one human” at a time level before they can develop on the corporate level. If the corporate leadership team is comprised of 20 people and 16 of them live ethically – then the corporation will live ethically too. Not so if out of 20 only 5 live ethically. I do tend to oversimplify, but it is how my brain works. I enjoyed your piece. Hope this finds you and yours well. Liz

    • Hi Liz,

      That is a good perspective you bring in. But strictly speaking, the concept of “Being human” organisation is something more than the aspect of corporate ethics. It is about involvement of ALL stakeholders into envisioning a common future that all of them desire. This allows for alignment and ‘ownership’ which together, become a powerful force for performance breakthrough. Since a “Self Led” organisation, by the very aspect that I have mentioned above, develops intrinsic capacity to self-correct and keep the interests of all stakeholders on the table, aspects of integrity, transparency and ethical conduct flow naturally. But we need to keep in mind that these are the result of the change, not the cause.

      Thank you Liz, for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate….. and of course, you are not late:)

      Shakti

  15. It really is a complicated puzzle–how to live kindly and ethically while making the most of our life’s resources. I can’t imagine there’s ever going to be an easy answer, or that the puzzle won’t continue to grow more complex as the world grows ‘smaller’ and communication and change faster. The only practical answer must be to continue to ask the questions and never to stop *looking* for possible solutions and improvements along the way. Your post is a thoughtful and challenging piece. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Indeed, the answer is not simple. As I have said elsewhere, ‘ If it was that simple, word would have got around:)’ A direction that has been pointed in “The Three Laws of performance” is to start transforming into “Self Led” Organisations by involving ALL Stakeholders- internal and external, into the conversational environment.With such ownership and involvement, alignment and self moderation would occur.

      In fact, as the world gets ‘smaller’ and communications faster ( as you have pointed out), it becomes easier in fact to make the shift as above.

      Thank you taking the time to comment here, I appreciate.

      Shakti

  16. Hi Shakti….This post made me think of a great book I read a while back. http://www.amazon.com/Whole-New-Mind-Right-Brainers-Future/dp/1594481717/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385964927&sr=1-4&keywords=daniel+pink He really goes into how business will change as we leave the cold, corporate mind behind and adapt to the right brain way of thinking. You might enjoy what he has to say. I was shocked here in the U.S. when they passed the law claiming corporations are considered people so they are now able to contribute money to the voting process…How sick is that. I’m hoping the new world speeds up and all this garbage can be left behind like dust in the rear view mirror….Thanks for this piece. By the way, was it not very sad to hear about Anil?? I shall truly miss him. Be well friend and have a great holiday season…Blessings to you…VK 🙂

    • Hi VK,

      You may be right. Corporate leadership needs to definitely shift towards the ‘Right Brain’ way of thinking and take decisions from a space of human values.We need to always look at the environment from the mindset of ‘Self- ownership’.

      As corporations get viewed as people, their performance would also need to adjudged accordingly.Aspects of kindness, transparency, integrity and above all Humanity would need to become the basic criteria with weightages comparable if not above that of profit and shareholder returns.Methinks the returns need to go beyond mere shareholders and onto all stakeholders.

      Thank you for pointing me to the “Whole New Mind Right Brainers Future” book. I propose to read it soon.

      Cheers and God Bless.

      Shakti

    • Hello Judy,

      I believe that it is within such tough questions that we can discover core issues and not remain drawn into chasing symptoms.

      You say, “Corporations do not listen to the voice because its not profitable”. So, what could we do to shift the criteria set by which leadership judges corporate performance? It is in this context that I have taken reference to the “Self-Led” organisation and how leadership could move towards that.I believe it is only through conversation networks that we can embark on such a journey; this post is but a small attempt in that direction.

      Judy, thank you once again for taking the time to comment here. I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

    • Thank you. But would you say that such awareness is but the first step. Holding such awareness what could we do? How do we empower corporate leadership and ourselves to shift our organisations away from being a psychopath? This post is but a small endeavour in that direction.

      I appreciate your taking the time to comment here.

      Shakti

  17. Hello Shakti,
    As always this is a brilliant thought provoking post. And here in the UK it comes just after 2 news items which reflect your ideas above.
    Firstly was an analysis that seems to show that personal ‘happiness and well being’ seems to rise with increasing incomes up to about £22,000. (A below average income in the UK at present) Above this, and levels of happiness tend to decline with further affluence.
    The second piece was yet another shocker about corporate business practice in the UK – you may know that we’ve had a steady stream of these in the last few years. Did they exist before, or has there been a moral decline in how corporates function more recently?
    Anyway in the latest item, our disgraced mega bank RBS stands accused of deliberately restricting funding to client small businesses that have struggled during the recession so that the firms go bust, and a separate arm of the bank can then acquire the company’s assets at knock down prices to be sold on at a profit . I didn’t think that this was how banks were expected to behave….
    Best wishes,
    Julian

    • Dear Julian,

      At the outset, I would like to acknowledge you for bringing in such new and refreshing perspectives here.

      That personal happiness trend you speak of is indeed interesting. Would it imply that the cusp point of happiness is reached when one has sufficient to live and lead a decent life but beyond this level, one falls into the space of greed and competitiveness? And if this be so, what shift in societal and individual values is needed?

      I suppose RBS is both a symptom and case in point of the skewed and ‘psychopathic’ value system which pervades much of the corporate world today. Corporations put in so much of effort and money to build and sustain desirable and ‘feel good’ corporate image. An image which attracts societal trust and patronage. It is therefore a pity really that leaderships are so prone to jeopardise this investment to show better financial numbers.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

      • Hello again Shakti,
        I like your phrase ‘cusp point of happiness’. This indeed seemed to be what the survey was pointing to, though as always things aren’t that simple. But if as you and the survey suggest, above a certain level of income (probably varying a lot from country to country) greed and competitiveness start to become more significant, how can a global capitalist (or other?) driven society take stock and perceive that target driven ‘growth’ in income/profits/whatever isn’t necessarily the ‘right ‘way’.
        I also heard that last week in Scotland, a first global symposium attempting to put an economic value on natural resources in business planning was held – surely an appreciation of what is often taken for granted in economics, should be factored in, when planning national or corporate economic decisions?
        BW
        Julian

      • Hi Julian,

        Indeed things aren’t that simple. For if they were, word would have got around 🙂

        You ask, “….. how can a global capitalist (or other?) driven society take stock and perceive that target driven ‘growth’ in income/profits/whatever isn’t necessarily the ‘right ‘way’?” What if, the mindset could be shifted to allow the leadership to perceive the target as ‘all stakeholder(s) happiness’ alongwith sustainable profits? What if the socio-political structure would demand such a shift? As you have yourself said, this again would not be simple or easy.But worth a resolve, don’t you think?

        Can we envision ourselves standing in that future as stated above? Can we ask ourselves,”Standing in that desired future, looking back, what do we see missing, what needs to be done?”

        Best Wishes

        Shakti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s