Monday 7 February 2011

The problem with taking taking sides is it usually means winners and losers

I have been involved in sport all my life for enjoyment, fitness, and the life-long friendships that have been the result, and because in sport winners and losers is OK, it’s the nature of games.

The same cannot be said for politics where the model of government and opposition rarely means the best ideas get adopted because unless the opposition agrees with the government great things rarely happen, like in Australia right now where the government and the opposition are fighting over how to help people devastated by floods and cyclones. It’s a joke. The monumental failures of dealing with climate change and fixing the broken financial services system are just two more examples of the many.

The troubles in Egypt of the past few weeks further demonstrate the problem with taking sides. I wish for democracy everywhere in the world, however my kind of democracy means everyone wins or at very least there is equity of opportunity.

Put religion in the mix and you often get more trouble if this means people debating the undebatable about whose God is the right one and killing one another as a consequence.

Now I am not suggesting for one moment here that we don’t take a stand against injustice, tyranny, inequality, or any other of the world’s issues. I am suggesting we find better ways to live in our world.

Business may well be the last bastion of hope. Enlightened business leaders create shared value, i.e. everyone wins.

Creating shared value is so important I have dedicated my life to it and made myself an authority on how to create shared value or CSV as it is sometimes called. In a recent Harvard Business Review article Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer refer to CSV as The Big Idea.

What are you doing in your business and in your life to create shared value?

The future is not about taking sides for the consequences are winners and losers. The future is not about who is right and who is wrong. The future is not about politics or religion, although both have their place. The future is about finding ways to live in harmony which each other and our planet, and where everyone has the opportunity to win.

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