Leadership LO1928

Ross Colliver (tdg@peg.apc.org)
Fri, 30 Jun 1995 21:16 AEST

The observation about women sidestepping the mainsteam male assumptions
about business and doing things there own way reminded me of this from
Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop:

Business is now entering centre stage. It is faster, it is more creative,
it is more wealthy than governments. However, if business comes with no
moral sympathy, or honourable code of behaviour, God help us all.

Over the past decade, I have been part of a different, smaller business
movement - one that has tried to put idealism back on the agenda.
Increasingly we are developing community initiatives. Viewed in isolation
these grass-roots initiatives are modest. Ten women planting a tree on a
roadside, a dozen youths digging a well, an old man teaching neighbourhood
kids to read -- but from a global perspective their scale and impact are
monumental. These micro enterprises, these small efforts are a ragtag
front line in the worldwide struggle to end poverty and environmental

We want a new paradigm, a whole new framework, for seeing and
understanding business can and must be a force for positive social change.
It must not only avoid hideous evil - it must actively do good. The people
I work with are mostly under thirty, mostly female, whose ethics are care.
For them, their work is about a search for a daily meaning as well as
their daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment
rather than torpor. These young people define power as the power inherent
in dreams, in curiosity, in a music, a reach for the human spirit.

Enthusiasm created from the heart guides them, so there's no resistance,
everything flows and seems possible. When a member of our staff, after
three exhaustive weeks refurbishing a Romanian orphanage, holding babies
with AIDS, or campaigning for human rights, looks you dead in the eye and
says: "This is the real me" - take heed, for she is dreaming of noble
purposes, not a moisture cream.

Anita Roddick (1994) For the common good. Resurgence, 166, p 10.

Ross Colliver, The Training and Development Group
300 Hay Street                             (619) 388 2260
Subiaco                              Fax   (619) 388 2268
Western Australia                   tdg@peg.pegasus.oz.au