Business Values – Insights from the Pacific Back
Values and themes, they run through our lives and form the foundations of who we are as people, cultures, companies and brands. They shape our path in life and define who and what we are.
In May this year I spent time working with companies around the Pacific participating in one on one brand workshops, as part of a program to help primary producers get their products to market abroad. Woven within each companies values and vision was the focus on people and the environment. They were all acutely aware of their responsibilities, knowing that their every decision and action affects their environment and the communities they live in. They want their businesses to have a positive affect long term and they are actively working towards this. This means they don’t make a single decision without holistically considering its consequences. Each of them is actively working towards making their business as environmentally sustainable as possible. They value their countries, the environment they live in and their people, they want to succeed for the betterment of their culture and the benefit of their country not just themselves. A magnanimous approach which seems to come very easily for each of them, in fact for them there is no other way to run a business. At the heart of each of their businesses and brands is a sustainable business platform – they consider the economic consequences, environmental consequences and social consequences of their actions and ensure through their decisions each thrive.
Coincidently while I was I away I watched – Inside Job – for the second time; a documentary directed by Charles H. Ferguson that explains how the 2008 crash happened and interviewed many of the individuals involved high up in various companies and corporations. These so called pillars of industry ( read inconceivable self serving scoundrels) sure could learn an awful lot about ethics and codes of practice from the six companies I met and worked with dotted around the Pacific. They work in ‘developing countries’ but in what are called the developed nations we have all forgotten our own commitments to the wellbeing of our nations as a whole. I am wondering if we could do better in New Zealand. In fact I know we can.
Bruce Mau has said that great companies are built to last and be sustainable, AND great companies don’t sell out. He also said great companies are attempting to change the world not just make money. And he’s right. We are lucky enough to work with some of them. This said, none of us can rest on our laurels, we can always do better.
Good associated reads: ‘We First’ by Simon Mainwaring