Building Bridges between the Left and the Business and Professional Communities
PARTICIPANTS: DougGermann, CourtneyGarron, JonHusband, RuthannPrange, LorraineMartin?, RaejeanKanter, JillPerkins
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION, KEY POINTS, CONCLUSIONS, ACTIONS:
A significant amount of discussion about corporations, good intentions, contribution and heart.
To supplement whatever summary appears here. I am offering a link to a blog post today by D. Pollard (Ex Chief Knowledge Officer of Ernst & Young, recently leaving that role (5 months ago)) on "corporatism" (http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2004/07/08.html#a803)
Here's the summary by way of the flip chart notes:
We spent the first part of our time with each participant talking about what drew them to the topic. What different participants said about why they came to this session was:
- Experience in both worlds and the belief that most people in both worlds are inherently good has led to a desire to try to bridge the worlds.
- The issue is that there are polarities to manage. We need to see the polarites as part of the whole and reduce clashes while we lear and grow and live with both poles.
- Working with disenfranchised groups that has become business leaders (Native American casino owners) has upset the usual order.
- Exploring personal work choices.
- Belief that "do-good" side shouldn't demonize business.
- Idealism and humanism in conflict in basic structures of business (such as quarterly report demands)
- Groping toward new language.
- Drawn to the session by the word "left." Generally little understanding of business.
- Belief that business is "where the action is" and doesn't wnat to give up hope.
- Want to learn what people see changing. (Website referenced: caringcapital.com)
The following are tidbits of the conversation that we captured on flip charts:
- Book recommendation: The Support Economy by Zuboff
- Book recommendation: I and Thou by Martin Buber
- Problem that the belief that business means making money stops the conversation from going anywhere.
- Need to give credit for the positive things that business does. Publicize it.
- Chasm is seen with multi-nationals, not with smaller businesses.
- Bridging can happen by promoting connection to community and heightening the importance of perception of business within its community.
- Racism and classism exist within corporation but have "gone underground."
- Structural issue is that performance incentives creat individual drive to be more "productive which results in a need to suppress emotions, making people less aware of the values issues around what they are doing within the business system.
- Data was noted that women have begun leaving higher pressure management jobs.