Category Archives: Values

Choosing Contribution over Consumption

I’m sitting at my computer reading a colleague’s article about choosing our highest values. I know what I need to do today to serve my highest value of contribution, but the temptation to go down a rabbit hole and start searching and consuming tasty new information on the internet is so very strong. However, I know that every time I satisfy that craving, I am missing an opportunity to choose contribution over consumption and I’m also missing the chance to strengthen my mental choosing muscle.

Thanks to my colleagues for being there for me virtually, it really makes a difference.

I’ll just take a deep, mindful breath, get started with my work and see how I go.

Voicing our Values

Thanks to ever-growing social networks, research shows the average person has the ability to influence 8,000 people or more (our friends, our friends’ friends, and even our friends’ friends’ friends). From the book Connected by Christakis & Fowler … How your Friends Friends Friends Affect Everything You Feel Think or Do, 2009.

So my questions to myself and all my Australian friends are:
“Who does our Budget serve?”
“Is it contributing to an Australian society that is thriving, fair and just?”
“If not, what are we prepared to do about that?”

I for one will be doing what I can to influence people I know to vote for a budget, a government and policies that create a fair society, because we all use society’s infrastructure so it’s only fair that we should all contribute to its development and maintenance.

I’m excited to be volunteering with GetUp to contact GetUp members in marginal seats held by the Coalition hard right.  A small number of people currently have an inordinate influence on Coalition policy and they seem to be out of step with the majority of Australians, including many of their voters.

What about you?  What are you energised to do?

Giving Voice to Values in paperback

Good to hear that one of my favourite books – Giving Voice to Values, by Mary Gentile –  is coming out in paperback.  Next month’s task is to get the Australian Institute of Management bookshop to stock it.   They will be great to use as reference sources in programs.

Towards the end of the year I will be starting a series of case studies around common Australian business ethical dilemmas – with a sustainability theme.  Watch out for new workshops in the new year.

Are Bankers missing the fairness gene?

I laughed at Lynne Taggart’s blog about investment banker bonuses being announced in the same weeks that celebrities were trying to drum up donations from regular folk for the Haiti appeal.  Most of us are brought up to value fairness – not investment bankers in the USA according to Taggart!

A friend of mine says, “I refuse to allow someone else’s meanness to determine my generosity”, so give now to Haiti if you have a few extra dollars.

The right thing vs the easy thing

Today I was talking with my father, who is an avid garage sale attendee. Dad told me about a small chest of drawers he’d bought last week from a pensioner. It cost him $30 (which is a big amount for my dad, who prides himself on going to garage sales with only gold coins in his pocket) and was filled with all sorts of drills and bits and pieces. When dad pulled the drawers out to wipe them over, he found a $50 note and a $20 note in the cavity underneath the bottom drawer.

Dad said to me, “I decided I’d have to return it, it’s the right thing to do, and mum agreed. Even though I could do with an extra $70, it didn’t seem right.”

He added that the gentleman was speechless when he went back to give him the money, which is an interesting reflection of our lowered expectations of others in today’s society.

This conversation echoes a theme that has been coming up in my workshops recently – the tension between the organisation / team’s aspirations and the tendency for managers to take the ‘easy way out’.

Continue reading