Business is the epicenter of the mainstream culture.
- Its wealth is the driver of the system. Politicians – but also the media, mainstream churches, universities, and nonprofits – all are dependent on streams of financing and income that find their way back to business’ profits and accumulated capital.
- Work dominates our lives, consuming the best hours of the great majority of our days, throughout our adult lives.
With this enormous power, business is the most significant reinforcer of the values that drive our indecent ways of living: Competing and winning, domination and control.
But because business is the belly of the beast, it is also the key strategic leverage point in our efforts to create better lives and a better world. Think how different the world would be if Radical Decency were the prevailing mindset in boardrooms and executive suites. Imagine how different things would be if mainstream companies were seriously committed to quality products at a fair price, worker welfare, truth in marketing, socially conscious purchasing and investing, and environmental prudence.
What makes our business initiative especially exciting is its feasibility. Such a company would be uniquely positioned to succeed financially; attracting a highly competent and fiercely loyal group of employees and customers. Imagine, for example, the market niche for the first credit card company that treats its customers fairly – doing away with 30 page single spaced contracts, usurious interest rates, and exorbitant penalties and late charges. Or consider the pull of a used car lot where honesty and fair dealing were a given and not a cynical marketing slogan.
So our goal this is: To create a network of businesses where profitability would be priority 1A, vitally important but clearly subordinate to priority 1 – decency to self, others and the world, at all times, in every context, and without exception. The hope is that our network of Radical Decency businesses will be compelling model for others; a model that, widely adopted, could change our habitual ways of doing business and, with it, the world in which we live.
For a fuller description of this aspect of Radical Decency read:
Reflection 15: Transforming Business – Values Based Social Justice
Reflection 43: A Fairy Tale (describing the ideal evolution of a radically decent business)
Seeking to be radically decent, the devil – always – is in the detail; the day by day, moment by moment choices that define our lives. It is an aspirational journey and not a destination.
To support the work of Radical Decency in your business — and to support others — we encourage you to participate in our ongoing Radical Decency in Business conversation.
Here are some stories about how this journey has unfolded for others: Ways in which they have come through; lessons learned when they have fallen short. Sharing a story from your experience supports your work and the work of others. Email us if you are interested in sharing a business related story.
(B1) Building A Business On Decency Principles, A Story From Mike Brady, Financial Planner
I remember walking out of an interview with KPMG, second semester senior year at Widener. I had just received notice that I would win the Accounting Prize; something I had coveted since my freshman year. I loved Accounting, or so I thought. However, during each interview I realized more…Read The Full Story Here »
(B2) Seeking Decency In Difficult Times, A Story From Jeff Garson, Psychotherapist and Attorney
In 2005, I was striving to run a healing center – offering psychotherapy, chiropractic, massage, financial planning, and life coaching – in a radically decent way. On the business side, one central goal was to establish a financial relationship of trust between the core group of professional/business partners.
Regarding compensation,…Read The Full Story Here »