Is Your Company Kind?
Ask most people if they are generous and kind and they will answer yes. What about your company? Is your company generous and kind? How does your company's kindness measure up? Are you more or less kind than your competitors? Does it matter?
Take The Company Kindness Quiz
For every Yes answer below score 1 point.
Does your company have a mission or values statement? Is your company's mission or value statement important to running the company? Is it used to check investments, partnerships or other initiatives? Does your company support a cause aligned with its branding? Does your company share its intangible resources such as social capital, your building, your employees time freely and without an eye on the bottom line? Are there many leaders inside of your company? Would you rate your company as one of the most generous in your business vertical? Would you rate your company as one of the most generous in your geographical area? Has your company established systems to listen to its employees and customers? Does it actually listen and work on what it hears? If your company creates charitable giving as a group does it do so without pressure on you? Do you LOVE working for your company?
Score = 7 to 10 very kind, 5 or 6, kind, 2 - 4, not kind, 1 or less = mean.
Pema Chodron's Lesson
The Buddhist monk and author Pema Chodron teaches how we treat ourselves is how we treat the world. Chodron's lesson applies to corporations too. I will never forget when, as a young Project Manager at M&M/Mars a friend told me, "The individual wants the company to love them, but the company is incapable of loving an individual since it is an institution and so dedicated to its own survival".
My coworker's idea was that the company had a separate identity apart from all of us and the main purpose of that identity was self perpetuation. This idea is common to many post WWII companies that dominate our brand landscape. Days of the self interested and righteously selfish corporation seem numbered.
Yes Ayn Rand is tossing lightening bolts at me after my last statement.
Rand's idea that the selfish corporation creates social good by fiat seems dated and out of step with our Connection Economy. I identify with the fierce artistic spirit of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead even as I recognize the impossibility of such an "army of one" approach. Howard Roark was an architect.
Like every Internet marketer, Roark couldn't build anything without teams of people willing to help, willing to share and expand his vision, understanding and output. The stark difference between Roark's rugged individualism and his nemesis Toohey's collectivism (that walks and talks like communism) may make great fiction but our lives are connected and intertwined with strangers now.
We create therefor we are and, like Rand's hero, we must create in teams or not at all.
Via Martin (Marty) Smith, Ricard Lloria