I asked Henrietta Lovell why did she get all this help? It’s the business of kindness, she said, and a light bulb went off in my head.
Why shouldn’t this be another way of doing business, far removed from the brash competitiveness that businesses think they are all about? There is, surely, far more to running a company than the preposterous cut-throat competition of the TV challenge show, The Apprentice.
Why can’t businesses be run with a generosity of spirit and a lot of goodwill? Henrietta Lovell says it can be done, but hers may be just a good deed in a naughty world.
I would like to think not. It may be the start of a trend. Companies have got away with nominal good behaviour for years. They do what their lawyers and their marketing people tell them they are obligated to do, and nothing much more.
As the banking crisis demonstrated, they did what they could get away with, driven by what they maintained was the interests of their shareholders, and the bosses revelling in the status symbol of their bonuses.
Now blinking in the glare of publicity – businesses may be waking up to other, more deep-seated, obligations. Good people may in the end decide they do not want to work for inhuman or merely operationally effective companies. They will want more from work than pay and promotion. They will want to be nice. They will want the organisations they work for to be kind.
That is what customers are discovering they want, too. They want to deal with businesses that work in decent ways, that reflect their own feelings about the world.”
AN : On this Christmas day I gift a thought ….why do acts of kindness have to be random ? Why can they not be sytematic and systemic in our lives and way of doing business ? The Rare Tea Company story profiled in the article shows how successful and good such kindness can be.