Oxfam Pt 2

Oxfam Pt 2

What can influence businesses, nonprofits and organisations of all sorts to be better behaved? In a world seeking to redefine capitalism are there groups of people that can achieve more than a single human conscience however suitably educated?

The law – and it’s guidelines fallout – are blunt instruments, as the social media have demonstrated. The issues surrounding good people management are not clear cut enough to handle fine legal arguments. One man’s confidence is another man’s bullying. Moreover, management cannot be forever serious if it is to be successful and tolerable. ‘Loving teasing’ is one of the most effective forms of getting a team to work together and is has nothing whatever to do with sexual harassment. Inclusion confirms respect.

We cannot ensure that top businesspeople have the right values for our society while we regard their ability to make money as the main criterion for their eligibility to do the job. That criterion is vital in business. In ‘not-for-profit’s’, money-control takes a different form since there are no profits. They are usually about raising money not making it.

Perhaps HR could become a rising influence on business and employee behaviour. They still don’t have the teeth they need. With will they could have. As it is, HR often try to measure the unmeasurable. That is a mistake. Their peers and bosses will measure the measurable. HR should specialise in dealing with unmeasurable judgments that account for example and decent personal standards. They should have greater influence over those employees’ qualities that determine a business’s culture. They should develop skills in this area.

Banks learnt the dangers of cosy relationships a long time ago. Their fears were of closeness between bank staff and clients. The consequence of such closeness can be fraud. The closeness of senior managers is also a danger that no amount of auditing or annual general meeting has yet learnt to dispel. It is a closeness that leads to power corruption. We need to break up self-serving cabals.

Switching people between jobs may seem to be bordering on the impossible in a digital age. It is not. Businesses are best protected from loss of specialist staff when they give those very experts a chance to see beyond their immediate focus and learn more about how to run an organisation. Technology disrupts, often – perhaps generally – for the good. You don’t have to wait for technology to disrupt your business – you can do it yourself.

Moving people, including top people, from one discipline to another requires careful thought and planning. It will be seen as, and is, troublesome. Some people will initially hate it. Everyone who participates and uses the opportunity to discover their as-yet-hidden-talents will rejoice in the opportunities it presents.

A bit of Positive Programming adds spice to a culture that is getting too comfortable.

Dare to Disrupt and make your organisation lively again.