Generosity in Business: It’s needed

Business is often about the ‘bottom line’. But there’s gotta be more. The bottom line doesn’t measure the way in which we work, the way in which people learn, and the side effects of productivity, creativity, learning.
Business needs to also integrate the notion of being generous, taking good care of each other, listening to one another, solving real issues not the surface ones. This, I would describe, is about giving rather than taking.
Can these ideas be incorporated into traditional business? Or, are they a contrast to each other? In what ways are they linked?
My favorite (and best!) Santa Clara University MBA professor, Andre Delbecq, taught me a great deal about innovation, management, business practices, AND open hearts. The idea is that in business (as in life) we each have unique gifts, and that we need to give of them freely, and where they go is none of our business.
Generosity means liberality, in spirit or act — but especially in giving. It has a life of its own. Andre once said he never turns away someone on the street. He doesn’t worry about whether the dollar might be used for booze or drugs. That is part of the larger mystery. He gives for himself. He gives because of the way life should be. We give to one another. And the universe gives to us.
If I give to the guy on the corner, maybe he’ll be less hungry that night. Maybe his heart will be opened, some healing start. Our job, therefore, is to get generosity going. The generosity itself takes over from there. It is possible, of course, to keep giving until you have nothing left. With sharing, you draw from what you have, and still have plenty left over to take care of life. It’s a point of view of abundancy. It’s a feeling of richness to know you have given. and then know how much abundance there is in life.
In business, the application is about making sure you are being generous in spirit, by not nickel and diming and by not worrying too much about the money. Focus on creating great, unbelievable value and having any person walk away with ‘I got more than I ever knew was there’, and that’s generosity.
It’s also applicable in that business has be about working from your gifts. Whatever they are. And not worry or manipulate situations to an end-outcome. It’s about giving freely and letting value get created. When value is created, it’s not about money but about creating good things, good outcomes together.
I’m in the middle of an interviewing process. Which is about discovery. And I’m looking for someone who understands that generosity is a business philosophy. When we take good care of our clients, they will take care of us too. I believe.

0 Responses:

  1. Marsha. July 20, 2006 at 3:01 pm  |  

    Giving generously to others – in business and in our personal lives – is reflective of an inner largeness and openness. That sense of abundance in others is compelling. When we’re around people for whom this is a core value, our creativity soars.


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