One perspective on the business world is that all is well. The global economy is slowly recovering from the banking crisis and the classic measures such as Gross National Product are starting to rise again. And while that is certainly a view, in your heart of hearts do you really think this?
At the recent Natural Leaders Now conference on London, I heard some astounding facts from Scilla Elworthy, here are a few:
- 1 billion people have no access to clean water; and it takes 13,000 litres of water to produce 1Kg of beef.
- One eighth of the population of the world are undernourished and one third are obese or overweight.
- The richest 300 people in the world have more combined wealth than the 3 billion poorest.
As business leaders, we are complicit to this unless we are proactively doing things to change the status quo.
In my supermarket, we throw away no edible food, ensuring some of those undernourished one eighth of the population get fed – and yes there are some right here in North London. And we have an amazing fish counter, encourage our customers towards more sustainable fish species and have a growing range of vegetarian products. It doesn’t mean we don’t sell beef, however, we encourage other alternatives.
How do you feel about the continuing ‘bad behaviour’ (for I can’t think of another word to describe it) of many of the major banks? About the fact that senior Tesco executives felt they needed to falsify their profits to keep up the illusion that all was well? Surely you still can’t feel that all is well. Or maybe you feel all is well in your organisation and the problem lies elsewhere.
And while your organisation may be heartful and caring, are you really doing everything you can to help create a more positive world?
I would love to hear what you feel and what you are doing about it. Or maybe even what you would like to do but maybe don’t know where to start.