"Growth" has come to be associated with the presumed desire for exponential expansion, but it originally referred to the growth of plants and it shares a root with "green". We use growth to refer to flourishing at a healthy scale, as part of an ecosystem.
Systems thinking is at the root of our approach to ethics, here are a few reasons why:
- Being able to tell what is real is crucial for making ethical choices. A systems thinking perspective helps you see the underlying/fundamental reasons for things.
- Your organization runs on systems, whether you intentionally design/improve them or not. A better-run, systems-conscious organization is more ethical just by being better organized because it’s more respectful of everyone’s time and energy. (And then, you have clearly-defined, well-tuned systems to make more ethical.)
- Your organization is a part of a great many external systems. You can make an ethical impact by changing your organization’s relationship to these external systems.
Calibrate Your Scale
How ethical is your business model? What is the healthiest size and scale for your organization? You might decide to scale up, scale down, or scale sideways. Which values are most important to you? Which internal systems need attention so your work is organized and satisfying? Which external systems are you a part of, and what is your impact on them?
Get immediate relief from some of the biggest stressors, and start making things ethical with free or inexpensive changes you can start today.
Make an ongoing learning plan, personal sustainability plan, and an ethical business plan. You can make some aspects of your organization more ethical starting today, while other changes might not be in this year's budget. That's okay! We start where we are, with what we can, and we make future budget plans with a clear strategy to get there.
After all the hard work, enjoy the impact as you grow in a healthy way that's right for you, your organization, and the rest of the world.
Being seen to be ethical isn't your primary motivation, but honestly and transparently sharing your work, choices, and impact is vital. Yes, it can be a useful marketing tool, but much more than that we are actively changing norms when we talk about how reparations, carbon drawdown, and caring for our collective wellbeing are core strategies, not afterthoughts.
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