Paul Palmarozza FRSA launches a new online tool to support young entrepreneurs
My observation of practices over 52 years in business is that there has been a gradual shift away from the core values of hard work, honesty, loyalty and service in favour of intense efforts directed at obtaining short term results ‘for me’, usually financial. The 'me' in most cases is the individual, but this sense of greed and excess quickly spreads within an organisation, especially when the leaders are the ones setting the bad example.
As standards shift, more people begin to think that the focus on short term gain, at any cost, is the normal and accepted way things are done in business; 'everyone is doing it'. A current example of the slippery slope is the increased use of illegal drugs by sportsmen as exposed in recent years. Winning becomes more important than obeying the law, than playing fair. You will also have noticed the growing public frustration with business leaders which has resulted in a dramatic loss in public trust. Opinion polls regarding trust in various occupations rate business people near the very bottom of the scale. The verdict is that business people cannot be trusted.
When looking at values many people have a double standard: there is one standard for family, friends, home life and another for business. For a vast majority of us it is clearly wrong and unacceptable to lie to our family or friends, but for an increasingly large number of people it is OK to lie in business, if you can get away with it.
That same lack of trust is present within many companies, making working for such companies an unattractive proposition, especially for many young people. This is why there is a growing interest by young people to start their own enterprise - to become entrepreneurs. However, the entrepreneur needs to be clear about the vision and sustainability of their enterprise, even more important in this ‘quick-win’ world.
In 1968 I was working for an America computer company who made large, fast, computers. We were visited by a team of Japanese engineers who observed what we were doing. I asked one of the group,
‘What is your vison for computers in Japan?’
‘We are going to make the fastest computer in the world.’
‘But there are many large US companies like IBM, Honeywell, Univac, Burroughs and our company in this field. How are you going to beat all of us?’
‘Ah, you people in the west think very short term: we have 20 year plan!’
I can still hear his voice. In 1987 Fujitsu announced the ‘fastest computer in the world.’ All the other competitors I had mentioned were no longer in the game.
How we think, How we relate to others, How we act
Our new online coaching tool, Ethical Entrepreneur, guides you in the necessary management functions in running an enterprise addressing the mental, emotional, social and physical actions guided by values reflecting our inherent spiritual nature.
The values we explore are inner, natural human values, which when followed lead to external results like efficiency, excellence, profitability.
These concepts are often described as an organisations’ values, but what really needs to be the focus are the inner values that make these results possible.
Mindfulness and Meditation are being used increasingly in schools, as well as businesses to relieve stress and to help bring about a quieter, still state of mind. While we have all experienced such moments of stillness, the direction given is to go there more often, especially when making difficult decisions.
Ethical Entrepreneur offers guidance on how to best demonstrate these values in your business. We add some selected references that support the positon which will come in the form quotes from various traditions, east and west; spiritual and secular. We also use some statements from the free Mindfulness Values App called If I can… which offers a daily reminder about the value and application of values. See www.ificanapp.com.