Sales Essentials Blog

Want a viable future? Opportunities abound in the Common Good

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What type of board member, CEO or sales leader are you?

  1. Are you stuck in the day-to-day looking to meet your monthly and quarterly targets, looking to maximise profit, shareholder return and your bonuses?
  2. Are you looking into the future to see what lies ahead ensuring there is a viable sustainable path for all to follow and participate in?

In today’s world everything is up for grabs.

Old institutions are crashing and dying because they held onto the past and failed to adapt.

Take Thomas Cook Travel as a current case in point. While their leaders were bathing themselves in 29M pounds of bonuses, their ‘ship’ was sinking faster than the Titanic. They had plenty of opportunity to adapt and change but didn’t even think it worth trying. Now thousands of people are out of work and the British Government has refused to bail out this 178 year old business, and rightly so. It’s unbelievable that their board and C-suites allowed this to happen.

And they are not alone. There are other businesses that are failing to adapt to the future and, by the looks of it, are looking to take us all down with them as they cling to their dying assets and old ways of doing business. Not interested in the common good, or caring at all about the climate crisis and rising inequality, they cling to their bonus regimes looking to eke out every dollar they can to maximise profits and shareholder return and halt progress.

When Harvard starts to write about the failings of short-term profit maximisation and shareholder return then I reckon more people will start to pay attention to what we need to do to create viable future where everyone can flourish.

And it’s not just Harvard and other noted sources that are calling out old outdated business paradigms, it’s people on the ground around the world calling for better ways of living and doing business. We participated in the Climate Strike event in Melbourne with 150,000 people as well as joining in solidarity with over 3,000 Australian and New Zealand businesses who signed up to #notbusinessasusual.   

We have everything we need to create the viable future we want and desperately need.

Opportunities abound in the common good, just look at the abundance of possibilities that stem from producing clean energy, hemp, recycling, and the circular economy.

Hemp alone can be used as a viable alternative to plastic, in building products –hempcrete-, fibres, medicines, paper and much more. It’s high in protein and as such a popular food with vegans. The list goes on.

There are so many opportunities if only businesses and governments would be prepared to invest in new and better value chains and infrastructure that create new and more sustainable jobs and industries. The hemp example is one that could be easily developed and overtake old, outdated, ways of operating so we can deliver the products and services we need in a sustainable manner that doesn’t kill our world.

We need to find common ground for the common good that can be readily transformed into viable businesses.

Despite the obvious resistance from some quarters, I remain optimistic that people power, human ingenuity, our pro-social orientation and our innate desire for fairness will overcome these major challenges and set us on a better course for a better, fairer and more sustainable world.

Author: Sue Barrett, 


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