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The Business of Doing Good: Millennials Think You’re Weird

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There’s a current running through every room lately. Giant conferences to tiny offices, it doesn’t matter. The anxiety over change is too real. And even if you like change (which I totally do), there’s still a breakneck pace to everything that can be overwhelming. That persistent thought that we could be doing more, learning faster, being more productive.

And that anxiety plays out in big spaces too, as executives hire gurus to educate their teams, with those chincy headsets that are the talisman of the motivational speaker: “the times they are a’changin!’ Time to change with them! Millennials want different things. WE MUST ADAPT OR DIE!” The current is strong in these places, and there’s a palpable desperation too. I’m sure it’s always kind of like this, the competitive leaders trying as hard as they can to get an edge.

But something obvious keeps slipping past, right there under the surface. Some organizations already get it, but many still don’t.

It’s pretty simple: just be good. Do the right thing. Stop talking about money for five seconds, and start thinking about people, sustainability, even, dare I say… love. And guess what? Money will still come. And in a culture where the bottom line isn’t always looming like the guillotine, people might calm down enough to get some great work done.

This idea isn’t new, and a lot of really smart people are already talking about it all over the world, have been screaming about it in fact, for years. And I know profit and viability are very important, yadda yadda. But so often at the executive level, the conversation is about how to show the young people corporate goodness. How do we market our goodness? Maybe we hire goodness practitioners?

And to that I say: there you go again, dammit! Always looking for the angle, leveraging the message, scheming for the bottom line.

Just actually be good. This is seriously basic playground stuff. And if we can live that principle, so much innovation, growth, and opportunity can be unleashed. Many businesses are doing this already, and it creates the fertile ground for ideas, engagement, and… Well what do you know? A WORLD WE ACTUALLY WANT TO LIVE IN.