The Corporate world as we all know is a place where people are over worked and under paid with little or no place for personal life. It’s a pressure cooker for the mind & soul! The only product which every company produces, irrespective of what its Article of Association or Company charter states – is STRESS!
This trend needs to be arrested and already many are whispering solutions to this endemic problem. Stress brings into play various emotions, and the worst of them is Ego. The false idea that ones contribution in aggrandizement of untold wealth for the Company absolves him/her from the moral path of Sustainable Business practice, especially in the context of saving the Environment from Human induced Climate Change.
‘Production targets’; ‘achievement of goal’ for promotion of self up the ladder of corporate hierarchy by making a ‘killing’; in the marketing and having a ‘fat bottom-line’ in the corporate graph can be only achieved by destruction of sustainability of self-morals in most cases and harm to the Environment always.
But do the people who are doing such “nasty things” (as the radicals would say who you find gathered outside every UNFCCC summit, shouting slogans and waving flags – without actually writing down anything meaningful in terms of solution in those placards) really doing this because they have some vengeful reason against Mother Earth? Are they really at fault ? My opinion is a resounding NO !
Let’s understand why I say this; For example – Who decides the production target ? Could it be the managers who are mostly if not all, are MBA graduates and Chartered Accountants along with a few Lawyers? People who have been conditioned through their student years to represent everything as numbers and take the help of lawyers to bulldoze any form of resistance which may assume a life-form? Can they really understand what it means to stand still for a minute among pristine and lush green forest, atop a hill – without thinking how much money they could make by selling the wood of the trees, ripping the heart out of the hill to extract its ore, etcetera ?
And if not why ? It’s because, the very things which is being condemned today, were laudable achievements worthy of high-status and prestige in the immediate past before Climate Change started to threaten the very existence of Homo Sapiens. Somewhere from Generation Jones of the 50’s as we crossed by the Flower Power Generation of the 1960 to zip into the Generation X then Y and now Z or M ( for multi-tasking ) Peoples lost the Art of Living…. To stop by the side of the road and smell the flowers swaying in the meadows or just dropping by for tea unannounced in a friends house. Getting up on Monday mornings and diving back into the bed …to reach office 15 min late…yet being greeted by a smile. In the post Y2K era, the more aggressive you were, the more cunning; better were the chance to climb up the corporate ladder. And this trend was stoked into a roaring flame for generations to come…until it consumed itself in form of the Lehmann Brothers saga. And then Fukushima happened.
Ego is harmful to the Ecosystem . It is the system which needs a serious revamp. And one of the immediate solutions could be that all stream of education must have mandatory the subject of Environment, Health & Safety; which one needs to pass with distinction, to qualify for any job. Especially managerial, which has the potential of putting a person as the key decision maker in the future. But what is even far more important than this, is to create a sustainable work environment. While its true that the rhythm of life in the 1960’s and now is vastly different, what is important is to recognize the rhythm – of LIFE and not that of the V-8 engine of the new fast car bought with a fistful of Dollars.
The disconnect between Crony Capitalism and Sustainable Capitalism must be surgically clean cut, if we want to see Earth survive into the next century without injury. For the wounds of the Earth would heal in a millennia or two but for the Human, it would mean Extinction. And to save ourselves we must sit back and reflect on what we do. And to reflect on thoughts, one needs time. Time means, a break from the daily skullduggery of high-pressure work. It is only then sensible decisions in all sphere can be taken. It’s time the Human which is a resource understand that it gets all its life giving resource from Mother Earth which needs to be nurtured.
And for that radical thoughts need to be applied – I’m ever amazed by the fact that every country has a graph which shows unemployment yet strangely we have also many vacancies in both corporate and public sector which can not find employees ? This is where I find the solution or perhaps a way forward to an Idea which with collective help from all those who can influence Governance in Nations must pause to reflect upon. In India, for example if we just take the Police force, one would find that every state is woe-fully short of manpower. Starting from the Top job to the Beat Constable position. And those who are in the job are mostly over worked and disillusioned. This leads to corruption in various forms of which, one can point to the shortage of man-power to police the reserve forests leading to poaching and illegal logging. Turning focus to the corporate sector one again finds over-worked professionals who although have fat pay packets but no personal time to enjoy. Partying hard in the night -club does not count as having a sustainable life-style.
In both the cases, should one ask the top most management the reason – various half truths come out. But the answer is very simple. If they employ and fill up every vacant position within the Government sector, where would they be able to find the money to pay salaries? Same goes for the corporate sector. Thus the grind of life continues as is.
Now when this grind enters the infrastructure and service sectors in a big way, pseudo development takes precedence. Wrong decisions which would harm the Ecosystem either in the short-term or in the long-term gets decided. As is the case of new Indian Nuclear power plants or Large Hydro dams in case of China.
May be its time the member Nations of the UN come together and draft a resolution that for every task there should be 3 shifts and in each shift a new person. With the age of Computers with Artificial intelligence already there, the argument of how to have 3 CEO’s take a singular decision can be easily solved. Program the main-frame server with an Environment safety regulation program and let the collective decisions of the CEO’s best approach considered as the company agenda.
Imagine having one’s Father/Mother come back from work every day on time to share a bed-time story with the children or taking the family out for dinner. What a Sustainable family that would be. And on growing up the children, responsible and sustainability practising professionals.
As a result we would have a Sustainable Earth!
- True sustainability solutions (energybulletin.net)
- Time Running Out for Sustainable Future: Report (commondreams.org)
- An Insiders View of Sustainable Innovation Cultures (cleantechies.com)
- Recognizing Cultural Sustainability (specialdee.wordpress.com)
- Climate Change: Eye on the ocean (yubanet.com)
- Want to keep the world sustainable? Start with the Young Professionals! (edu285.wordpress.com)
- Ed Lawler: Sustainability: It Should Be About More Than the Bottom Line (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kiyotaka Akasaka: Sustainability Is the Sensible Alternative (huffingtonpost.com)