August 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Late last week, I came across a blog post by Dr. Cleve W. Stevens, the founder and President of Owl Sight Intentions, Inc., giving his perspective on BP’s management of the Gulf oil spill earlier this year.
He talks about the differentiation between a transactional approach to operations, problem-solving, and leadership, compared with a transformational approach. My own personal interpretation is that much of the world still operates within a transactional paradigm, driven by the short-term motivation of economic profits. A transformational way of being occurs when a greater vision is taken on that strives towards enabling the personal growth and holistic well-being and betterment of other people and a community alongside a person or organization’s development. It is a long-term motivation driven by mutual benefit and sustainability. Dr. Stevens uses BP as an excellent example highlighting not only the difference between the two approaches, but also the magnitude of the outcomes: both potential and actual.
The original post can be found at CSRwire’s Talkback blog and I have also included it here below. I highly recommend reading it. It’s not only a great read, but offers compelling insight into the way companies and individuals carry themselves. If nothing else, it presents interesting food for thought.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what kind of leader or company you want to be.
June 10, 2010 § Leave a Comment
In a recent report by Reuters, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn is offering its workers at the Shenzhen plant an opportunity for a 66 per cent wage increase in reaction to the recent wave of suicides and deaths. It’s an “opportunity” for wage increase as employees would need to pass a three-month performance review for the opportunity to earn 2,000 yuan ($300 CDN) a month. Employees would also be provided the option to work overtime, “making it more voluntary than in the past”.
The wage increase comes in addition to a universal 30 per cent pay increase on the cash portion of wages that was recently announced, as well as the installation of safety nets at the factory as a preventative measure to suicide attempts. All of which are notably tactical reactions. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 16, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I’ve been thinking a lot about personal ethics lately: our personal “way of being” that defines us, our actions, how we approach decisions, and ultimately how we treat others. We talk a lot about corporate social responsibility, but what about our personal social responsibility? What are we doing? How are we behaving? How far do we go?
A situation was shared with me recently, whereby a person’s decision to pursue one option would directly compromise their associate’s position. The relationship between the personal gain for the one was directly tied to the personal loss of the other. In this story, the person chose to proceed anyway. It made me consider what I would do in that circumstance. And it occurred to me that somewhere along the line, with the heightened complexities of the adult world, amongst pressures to perform in a job and provide for a family, some of the most basic principles of interpersonal behavior – and personal ethics – may have been forgotten.
It makes me think – perhaps everything we should know about ethics, we were taught in Kindergarten. We remember the principles of sharing, of playing nice, waiting our turn, being honest, and ultimately, of contributing to tasks, our micro-community and the collective well-being. We would care if something we did hurt Ramona’s feelings, and we would learn to apologize. Obviously, some situations are not so simple, but the same basic principles still apply. Would we teach our children to do as we do? Would we do, say or act in the same way in front of our children and grandchildren as we do away from them? If there’s a question – perhaps it shouldn’t be done. But maybe the problem is we’ve become so practiced at shutting down the voice inside that we no longer hear it – and all we see is what I need, what I want, what I think. And what’s lost are the needs, wants and thoughts of those around us.
Perhaps it’s an over-simplification, but it’s worth considering. Sometimes what the most complex problems need are the simplest of solutions – back to the basics.
March 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
There is so much to think about when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Often what comes to mind first is philanthropy and contribution to community. Next up in line is environmental sustainability and financial integrity. Dig a little deeper and there’s employee relations, business processes and management decision-making. But recently, we had an experience that illustrated that it doesn’t matter what kind of goodwill, strategy and processes you put in place to try to align with CSR, CSR is a way of being that touches even the simplest of tasks.