It can be very useful to write your way through the core values and practical aspects of your business. Finnish textile company Marimekko 's core values deeply resonated with me.
- genuineness and honesty
- freedom of creativity, courage and responsibility
- enthusiasm, commitment and goal orientation
- positivity, aestheticism
(They also have a fine Vision, Objectives, and Strategy - read here)
I was talking to a friend a while ago about how we cannot change the people around us, or who we work with for that matter. What we can most certainly do is take the initiative and follow what we think is best. For my friend this meant resigning from her work as she could no longer support the way her workplace was being run. My husband is having an ethical debate at his workplace, also on behalf of his colleagues. It seems to be 'a sign of the times' for many to make new and conscious choices. A boss is no longer able to simply tell his (qualified) workers to do what they're told. Nowadays managers and leaders have to set an example, which usually means improving how they act. Naturally this creates obvious dilemmas as bosses are human. They have to inspire their work force, if they don't they will lose them. As someone put it to me: how can they expect us to do what they want, if they don't want to do the hard yards themselves, do not respect us nor our opinions and change the rules to fit their needs? The fact is de-motivated staff is dangerous territory.
Work has changed much from the perception of just earning wages that pay the mortgage to supporting some sort of cause or vision. We also have to be able to respect our bosses, the companies that give us work and our leaders. We do have a choice, and many employers don't realize this. Why stay in a situation we can change nothing about? It's a dead end. Once growth stops, it's game over.
So, ending on a positive note: that what we can change, add upon, give our dedication to, what inspires us and fuels our passion; that we will stay true to and work very hard for. So there is good news after all. Work shouldn't be 'just' work, preferably it should be great fun and a passion to boot. What is yours?
An inspiring story about an ethical way to run a business is Bholu, read about that on my friend Lucy's website The Design Files here.