Who benefits?

Wed, 30 Jan 2013

There seems to be growing awareness that the world isn't a zero-sum game - that the way to be successful is to help others achieve their goals.

I find it disappointing, therefore, that a lot of people still divide time into 'me time' and 'company time'.  Likewise, companies seem to divide their efforts into separate initiatives - say perhaps 80% into 'what's good for the company', 15% into 'what's good for the employee' and 5% into 'what's good for the community' (generally assigning to the latter two categories to special departments).

My concern is that this leads to missed opportunities to add value.  It would make more sense if we were all routinely on the lookout for activities that would add value, to any one or more out of the company, the people or the community, without causing harm to any of them.

For example, why not encourage employees to help themselves and each other.  If an activity helps the employees and doesn't hurt the company or community, it is going to make for happier employees, which ultimately helps the company and the community.

So I'd like to see a shift in how we think about benefits.  Rather than trying to make sure the right party gets the benefits from any action, let's embrace any and all benefits, letting our concern instead be on preventing (or at least managing) any resultant harm.