Giving for the sake of giving

April 24, 2016

 

Triple_Bottom_Line_graphicWhen I first came into business, during the early 1980’s, my main objective was simply to make profits. As time and I have progressed businesses have become more concerned with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), meaning that they take more (possibly equal account) of the impact they have on their stakeholders and on the ecology.

Their stakeholders include, naturally the business owners, their staff, customers and indeed anybody who is impacted on by their corporate activities – in fact all people. The ecology is of course the planet.

The accountant in me gets excited when I hear this new approach describe as the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ focusing on the three P’s of:

  • Profit (generating not just financial capital but social capital too)
  • People (being how we work with and encourage our community)
  • Planet (how this generation gets its needs met without compromising the meeting of the needs of the future)

In response, what now seems to be unfolding in the business world (that is distinct from the state activities of ‘Big Government’ and philanthropic work of ‘Charities’) are a split two forms of Enterprise:

  1. Commercial Enterprise, the traditional organisations created out of self-focused desire for private gain and
  2. Social Enterprise, created out of a collective desire to create social value in a purposeful way.

To be clear, the ‘selfish-gene’ commercial profit maximising approach is as an innately human trait as the willingness to co-operate and be in community, and whilst the two perspectives need not be in conflict, there is and will likely continue to be a tension between them.

Just Clarity Photo.pngCommercial Enterprises want maximum profits, but need the goodwill of people to create it. Social Enterprises want to create social value, but need profits to pay for it. It is simply a question of the degree to which each enterprises focuses its mission on.

Both resonate with me and my associates (Just Clarity Group) and our mantra and program that we run, that ‘People & Business Matters’, a Social Enterprise program.

Our collective ambition is not to compete with Commercial Enterprise by being cheaper because we are volunteers and have a low cost base. Nor do we wish to take resources, like good staff or grants from commercial enterprises. What we aim to do is focus on solving a social need and then making available good, value for money resources to our local Commercial Enterprises for further social value creation.

We do this by coaching, mentoring, training and developing those in our local community who might feel marginalised or challenged in finding work, building a career or starting a business. Our goal is to provide local employers with good quality employees. In the process of doing that we re-invest surplus profits back into our programs. In our efforts we able to give, simply for the sake of giving.

We feel that that is a ‘Win-Win-Win’.Just Clarity Group Logo small


Good conversations, friendly community and mighty resilience

April 24, 2016

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After many years leading businesses, managing finances, teaching and coaching people it has slowly dawned on me that relationships are important.

When times have been hard (have you noticed that business and life can sometimes be like that?), it has been the people of good heart, honest intention and generous spirit who have sustained me. I am fortunate to have found (or attracted) a good cohort of confidents into a community of practice, be it life or work. We talk, collaborate and move forward together, in fact we build collective resilience, which for me is about our ability to withstand life’s challenges.

This approach is coherent with my philosophy to life, which is beautifully and simply captured in the organizing principles of the Human Givens (www.positiveways.co.uk/about/9/about-human-givens) that all of us have needs that when met lead to a fulfilled and contented life. These needs include; having connection to others, being able to give and receive attention and to feel that we can contribute to our society.

My experience is that when these simple building blocks are nurtured and developed, each of us can enhance our individual resilience, which in turn, through the principle of ‘pass it on’ enables community resilience. The stronger each of us are the stronger we all are. Regardless of the colour of our Government or whether we are ‘In or out’ of Europe, the local community can and should flex its local influence and be good to and for each other.

But for our local community to be strong, we all need a means (we know we have a need!) to communicate. Life is easier when we talk, which is why Positive Ways encourages and creates opportunities for individuals to have to hold ‘Good Conversations’ through local peer support groups. These groups provide a means for individuals to develop and share their skills and resources.

However, that often requires the individual team to be able to trust each other. Whilst Positive Ways finds that it can facilitate the team to come together quickly, it also acknowledges that some people like to have built relationships more steadily. A great way to do that is to meet up and have a coffee (and a ‘good conversation’) together. The Links4growth (http://link4growth.biz/l4g) captures all the sensible values of being in community whilst providing a gentle means for individuals to meet up.

Why not hold a good conversation, if not today, soon?IMG_0569