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Integrate Magazine

Raise your perspective. Wake up your ideals.

Considerations #02 – Money

Money is a method for exchange of goods, ideas, performance, etc. This is the basic purpose of money. Money, itself, has no value. The value of money is set by the markets, exchange rates, and agreements for exchange of labor or thoughts. Thus, money is the means and not the end. Money provides the means for other activity including but not limited to food, shelter, entertainment, education, etc. Most people also strive for a better life, and money provides you the ability to explore opportunities.

Enterprises use money to compensate you towards achieving the goals and objectives of your organization. While there are non-monetary compensations, the grocer will only take money. How you compensate the key personnel in your enterprise, defines the future of the organization. If your bonus depends on quarterly results, you will think and behave to this target. Long range development is at risk. It is necessary to have good current results that build for the future. You get to the future through the actions of today. The following is an idea how you might be able to develop a framework for growth. It is possible to have favorable quarters, if these results ensure the future.

Here is an idea on how this might work. Bonus payouts should be over a five-year period. For example, if you earn a bonus of $100,000 this year you get $20,000 this year and the next four. Each future year in this five-year plan depends on the profitability of that year or improvement from last year. This is an easy means for keeping everyone thinking about the future at each month and quarter. This is an easy but powerful paradigm shift. Another way is to use stock instead of money. Defining long range compensation will favor good results today and ensure tomorrow.

Considerations #01 – Just Thinking

Previous topics attempted to shed different perspectives on current issues. These musings were intended to provoke ways of looking at things. Different paradigms to view the emerging socio-economic environment in diverse ways. The world we live in today is different from the past. The changes via the digital culture came at an unrepresented pace. These changes do not eliminate previous wisdom. We forget this when we are in the mist of the storm of change. Previous subjects attempted to offer perspectives and understanding to challenge your paradigms. The intention was not to agree, but to provoke thinking. Philosophical ideas need praxis to understand and manage this new world order. Therefore, considerations will delve into specific subjects as a way of offering solutions. Look beyond the examples to advancing innovative ideas about complex issues. Frequently the means overshadow the conceptional method, which is the key to human centric progress. the following is an example of how considerations will explore the challenges of the digital culture.

Development and progress is an evolutionary process. Sustainable and concrete results come from continuous application of improvements and creating value. In this digital culture, expectations are instantaneous results. This is not practical and may compromise the objective. “Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.” [Tacitus]

An example of this is how quarterly business performance is the litmus test. Management is compensated on their quarterly performance. This mentality sacrifices long term growth towards quarterly result. Good luck with that! You must invest in the future, otherwise, there will be no tomorrow. Sacrificing everything to a quarter, will eventually catchup with unfortunate results. Gary Hamel in “Leading the Revolution” clearly reminds us that “New wealth is achieved only when new markets, new customers, or new revenue streams are created” This takes time and investments!

The Common Good #20 – Dignity

I have traveled and visited many countries and continents. This experience confirms the basic thing that defines the common good for all people. People just want to be able to live in security, with enough money (work) for shelter and food, to give their children a good education, and some discretionary income. Their desire is to have the freedom to work in an environment that allows you to have these basic things.

It is the responsibility of the government to create and sustain this atmosphere. Anything less than these basic requirements is a failure of the government. Thus, security and work for shelter, food, education, and discretionary income is the basic common good also known as dignity. This is all that anyone is looking for dignity! Self-respect via the respect of others and the ability to function responsibly in my domain.

“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”  Nelson Mandela

The Common Good #19 – Leadership

Most of the community are busy in dealing with their mysteries of life. This is the reason that the community establish individuals to lead their institutions. While some leaders have the quality and ability to learn how to be effective leaders. leadership goes beyond execution and efficiencies. Leadership is a vision of the future, the ability to articulate this to the community, and the responsibility to ensure the resources exist to make it happen.

Leadership is not a given. You are not born with it and it is more than the characteristics we proscribe onto leadership. You may be in charge, this does not mean you are a leader or have leadership qualities. Leadership is Mother Teresa guidance “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples”!

The Common Good #18 – Institutions

Institutions are the means for creating and sustaining the common good. Institutions are the aggregate organizations such as government, commercial firms, faith communities, social structures, and communities. Institutions are also the customs, laws, practices, that are accepted as guidelines or paradigms that impact the common good. Thus, institutions are the rules that govern behavior and promote or constrain the common good. Socio-economic circumstances determine the degree to which you ensure the integrity of the common good.

Change is an evolutionary process of growth or decline of human-centric activity. After all, the reason for these social interactions is human relationships. Relationships are the cause of growth or strife. When institutions official or unofficial get out of sync with the reality of change, this causes conflict. It is imperative that you understand the purpose of an institution whether it is a government or traditions. When the changing environment threatens the purpose, it is essential that you step back and get a new perspective. Continuing to behave because it is how we do things, is not only irrational but harmful to the common good.

In complex societies, institutional leadership is necessary. Leaders exist because their constituents give them power. Their power exists because we allow it. The integrity of the common good, involves all people within a specific domain. When institutions via their leadership are out of sync with reality, the common good is in danger. You have the power, to hold leaders responsible for the viability of the common good. You do this by voting or boycotting a specific institution. Even better, you do this by becoming actively involved in being a change agent.

The Common Good #17 – Adversity

The damage caused by the hurricanes Harvey and Irma are lessons in the reason and purpose of the common good. The damage of these weather conditions is not selective. The entire population of the storm areas is impacted. Your socio-economic circumstances do not matter. While it impacts many more seriously, the consequences are relative to everyone. The common goods extend beyond daily life, to the greater community. Rescue, cleanup, and restoration relies on many institutions (especially government) to respond to disasters. You never know when and where this will happen.

These times reaffirm the need understand the common good as a communal enterprise. It is essential that we have the resources to meet these unplanned crises. The tendency to complain or demonize institutions, must be reappraises within the context of the unexpected. If something is not working fix it! Nature has a way of reminding us of our interdependence. In complex societies, it is necessary to ensure that the infrastructure and organizations are positioned to overcome these types of adversities.

The Common Good #16 – Consequences

We live in a global community – what you and others do has consequences. Ignoring this reality will not change it!

There will always be those who seek their own good at the expense of others. They get away with it by distracting you! They are artful magicians but not for your wellbeing.

The free press is essential to protecting the common good. The press protects you by telling the truth. The integrity of truth is by presenting facts and not opinions. A free press serves the common good. Facts do not need political balance, because they are facts. Distorting the facts is nothing more than opinions or propaganda.

Government is for the people and by the people. It has no other purpose. However, people need to keep it that way – this is the essential meaning of democracy – your ability to vote. Never allow yourself to be distracted, isolated, or ignorant of the facts. When you allow others and your fears lose sight of the common good, the consequences are not good.

The Common Good #15 – Harvey

There is no better illustration of the common good, than watching people respond to the problems caused by Hurricane Harvey. The greatest example of the common good plays out in the storm areas. Most visible is  Houston – neighbors, strangers, bring their boats rescuing people – THIS IS THE COMMON GOOD. It is not necessary to go any further – no one was grandstanding. People putting themselves in harm’s way – to help – no differentiation among the workers – just taking care of those in need.

The Common Good #13 – Hate

The greatest threat against the common good is hatred. A part of any society, is filled with hatred, because of fear. Instead of looking for solutions, they allow their demons to shift responsibility by blaming others for their circumstances. Their negative energy digs a deeper grave of desolation. We repeat history, because we lack visceral understanding. Reading about the holocaust is no substitute for watching it live.

Ghouls take advantage of the seething hate, disguising themselves as solutions. These charlatans using dog whistles, promising delivery to safer times. Fear and anxiety overshadow the warning signs of their real agenda. Ultimately out of desperation hate follows these leaders. Once they gain power, and surround themselves with people of like minds – they win! We are watching in the present, historical events that sabotage the common good.

The majority ensures the integrity of the common good, by being involved.

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