“The real virtues of business”

Just as I was writing to myself the words “You don’t affect change by telling people they’re wrong, but by showing them a better alternative,” this article comes out:

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/bca-time-to-get-back-to-business/news-story/a54e3d010adf8d71c777f40e1bfd3e19

And woh, boy, my blood is boiling, and my new Zen and the Art of Change Influence philosophy is being very sorely f**king tested. 

In case you haven’t paid for the privilege of reading News articles, the Chief Exec of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott, has joined our esteemed PM in urging business leaders to focus on “the real virtues of business” – basically job creation and dividends, rather than “fashionable social causes”. 

Here’s the quote: “The key is to get the balance right between those things that people who work in companies expect their CEOs to talk about, but making sure we never take our eye off the real virtue of business, which is the jobs we create, the contractors we create, the small businesses we create, the shareholders we pay. We should make a virtue of being profitable companies”.

PM’s Assistant Minister Ben Morton added this pearl: “Too often I see corporate Australia succumb or pander to similar pressures from noisy, highly orchestrated campaigns of elites typified by groups such as GetUp or activist shareholders. If you want to advance the cause of your employees so they can earn more, there isn’t time for distractions. The most successful businesses are those that focus on that”.

Now I’ll write about the Climate Strike on Friday, where I’ll be, but I did just want to comment on this. 

Jenny – you are standing in a burning house, trying to save the photos of the kids. Which is well-meant, but get out of the f**king house, Jenny!

Jobs are of course important. As is the sustainability of business, which comes, ultimately, through being profitable. But we really, truly, IMMEDIATELY need to recognise the overarching BIG PICTURE here – this planet has to come first.

Now, Ms Westacott had it right in a follow-up comment: “I think there is absolutely a virtuous circle of well-run companies, ethically managed companies, making good profits, paying their shareholders, employing their people, paying them more. That is the virtuous circle of business, which of course is the employer of 11 million people. This is not an abstract concept”.

She’s right on this. It does all work together. Planet, people, profit, all in balance, for the good of all.

But so much in business is also about prioritisation, and I put it to you that we have to start putting the planet first. Or it won’t matter how many jobs there are, now will it?

One day out of business as usual and the “productivity loss” from that vs standing idle (again) and ignoring the cries of our planet…

I know what I’m choosing. What will you choose? https://www.notbusinessasusual.co/

When are we going to stop congratulating ourselves, Australia, for obstinance?

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