The mantra of “increase profits at any cost” can mean the environmental, cultural and psychological costs are ignored in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
People are encouraged to think short term and aim for immediate returns. For proof, see the reward systems inherent in corporate hierarchies – systems that also underlie the world’s stock markets.
Conventional business thinking is a cult that actively resists criticism, especially from the outside. Any criticism is regarded as “left-wing rhetoric” and retorted with “you have not worked in a big company”, “you have never been in business”, “you don’t have an MBA”, “what would you know about business?”
We have forgotten that business is about the trading of value between people. And people are emotional and multifaceted. Conventional business’ obsession with numbers have reduced people to simplistic numeric avatars.
Your charter as soloists is to rehumanise business. This is your fundamental responsibility to humanity’s future. Soloism by its nature is about the human approach to business. It is about real connections between people. Practice it, celebrate it, and tell everyone why soloists are paving the way to a better future.
Beware of the urge to “learn” from corporations, to aspire to their actions. Beware of blindly following what big business does. Read “business magazines” with a large pinch of skepticism. Don’t get an MBA. If you already have one, apply to return it like Tom Peters did.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business values section.
A big part of the rehumanising business process is also about focusing on ideas, values, passion and meaning. Conventional business practice is essentially still factory-centric, where each person is a cog. Conventional business thinking cannot cope with radical innovation and serious creativity – these are essentially human concepts that are anathemas to the world of statistical market trend analysis, market demographics, psychological profiles and process control charts.
There is no time to be complacent. As globalisation takes a firmer hold, inhumane business practices can now do more damage than ever before, with even more efficiency.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that big businesses control the world and you as an individual can never achieve anything. Smaller businesses are still in the majority. And there are lots of people out there who get it.
Think, challenge, and ask “why not?” Work with integrity and truth. Develop a new set of KPIs for your business values that include words like happiness, kindness, consideration, care and love. Choose only to work with those who truly give a damn. Dare to blow a raspberry in the face of faceless pin-striped conventional business wisdom. Genuinely support your community; it is a matter of survival!
Article authored in conjunction with Zern Liew.