Discussion of three reflective pieces on business Profit, Careers, and a Meaningful Life.
Trying to figure out the best ways to balance business pursuits, without being greedy and being aware of preserving the natural environment for example, is not an easy feat to reasonably accomplish. The world today is surprising and complex. The global economy, shaky politics, and new international rules leave room for business people to really think about how they want to establish their business practices and policies. This essay is a collection of three reflective pieces regarding different, but fairly correlated, aspects of business choices and ideas in society in our modern world.
Reflection #1: Whether business pursuits should think about more than monetary profit, like protection strategies for the natural environment.
After reading the Captain Planet article, about Unilever’s situation as a multinational corporation with a heart for innovation, really sets the bar higher for other companies to follow. Of course you go into business in the first place to make money. So profit usually drives the train in every chore that is done. But today, the world has become so very crowded with the sometimes fun – or painful – convergence of many cultures. This situation brings attention to the many problems people share, or are unique to the diverse human communities. We now think about poisons in the earth’s environment and how business entities can help ensure responsibility to this end.
Uncovered in what was learned from the article about the Unilever, we all have realized that it would be insalubrious to leave footprints in the environment which destroy it. Nature needs to be preserved for many generations to come. Thus, environmental responsibility and sustainability definitely has a place in every business practice nowadays. Using this background as a concept for business operations and strategies, a common and sensible link is drawn between business and society. For example, one journal article points out that sustainability programs in business are popping up all over the place. This means that stakeholders are becoming more concerned about the natural environment in which we live. If nature is completely ruined, then common sense tells you that business will most likely be inadequate and unsuccessful. According to one study on mid-sized companies on the FORTUNE list, 44 percent are striving to retain reports on sustainability data (James 2015). Another concern can be expressed by a recent, personal experience.
At one former job, it was noticed that the architectural firm next door, which leased the property at the company where I was employed, had plans to cut down a few trees on the land to make room for building expansion. After consulting with the local natural bird society preserve, the architecture firm decided to only cut down half, and to leave and development a greenspace for park-like setting for local employees and the community to enjoy. As it turned out on this one occasion, the business showed a concern that had a cute solution which was also favorable for the community. Have a nature-spot makes people feel better, work better, and be more productive. Have these kinds of green spaces around business areas let people calm down, having an improved psychological sense of well-being (Dobbs 2007). Preserving species of woodland plants and animals is also a good thing. Businesses can feel good about giving back to society.
The idea herein does not merely represent a feel-good type of imagined speculation in your work or career. Being around green spaces and nature actually do have a positive effect on people at home, and at their workplaces. One set of researchers looked into how butterflies and birds combined with grassy lands, and wood-scrub habitats made the users feel who enjoyed these kinds of natural spaces. They discovered that people could measurably be gauged to have a sense of mental renewal (cognitive), improved self-identity, and gave positive feedback as to their emotional state (Dobbs 2007). Although these findings and data were scientifically derived in a qualitative/quantitative way, it makes sense that being in a more relaxed environment of green nature can help a person feel much calmer. A lot of people go to the gym to work out, and engage in their physical regimens. But, plenty of people prefer to go outdoors and exercise in the fresh air, hear the birds, seeing living flowers, and just being under a blue sky. This is so important to some people that he or she will often choose a career where they can reside near the beach, or in a place like California where they can hike enjoying the beauty of nice weather during the majority of the year. A natural place filled with living green trees and earthly delights, is really conducive to reflection. A person can best relax and think about the direction their career is going, or how to cultivate improvements at the workplace. In other words, some of the best business ideas come from time spent outside the brick-and-mortar of the office, or from behind looking at a computer screen all day.
Reflection #2: Consideration of aspects of careers in valuing information, in light of two of the 56 career values listed in what it means to be professional.
Getting sound, up-to-date and accurate information propels businesses to use current data in thinking about what makes sense. Nowadays, the business literature is filled with tips and theoretical advice to this end. Business owners and managers in larger companies distribute their priorities in a way that deserves making the best choices. Sometimes, certain information might indeed be accurate, however business stakeholders often find themselves today in positions of trying to remain professional and doing the ethical thing. Therefore, the two career values focused upon in this section are: (a) Teamwork: cooperating with people to achieve shared objectives, and (b) Contribution: performance of meaningful work that can improve lives within society.
Teamwork can not only be fun, but can lead to ways of making the staff feel happier and a valued segment of the organization whether it is a larger or smaller operation. When thinking about aspects of careers, some seekers only depend upon information that will tell him or her about the salary earned, thus aiming for the highest monetary profit. However, gathering information by the wise career seeker must involve the task of focusing upon the career values most important to a satisfactory personal experience, too. Teamwork aspects of one’s career communicates how the workplace culture will be. It seems like the most imperative concept of teamwork in a career is to gather information showing which company a person will feel most comfortable in, and where the employees have a family-feel in the firm. Teams that cooperate smoothly, can achieve great things.
Examples of how teamwork participants can join together in moving companies forward are important. Teams in medical settings help each other towards a common goal in surgery, or better patient outcomes because of their dedication to daily projects. While it is true that teamwork can sometimes lead to conflict or even chaos at worse, it can effectively develop strategy, product designs, or conduct improvements in research (Edmondson 2012). Another organization that requires key and nifty teamwork, to function perfectly in a tight-knit group, is law enforcement. If you really think about it, police cannot afford to have wrongful information or not being on the same page as their team. One personal experience that comes to mind, is during the time I worked in the airlines industry.
The airlines industry is extremely fast-paced. It can even seem very crazy, but the team is unbelievably tightknit. One time, when a flight had crashed, two supervisors were very helpful in guiding public relations and how we could handle people who had loved ones lost in the crash. Carmen was one lady, who really helped us by displaying her personal and professional values of caring and integrity. In fact, many airline careers will recruit people who want to contribute dedication, and an excellent attitude in customer service (American Airlines 2015). From parking attendant careers to working in the operations sector of the airlines business, certain qualities will be expected. An attitude that services teamwork and calls upon employees to possess a mindset of wanting to make a contribution are equally important. For one thing, any career in the airlines exposes the person to always being able to interact with other co-workers in a friendly, cooperative fashion, as well as having an attitude of really desiring to contribute to serving the public.
The aspect of teamwork is a very close relative to contribution, in terms of creating an experience of meaningful performance that can make a difference in society. Whether teams are temporary, casual, or formal, they lead people to work together in ways that accomplish what they could not otherwise easily achieve alone. Of course challenges will always exist. You cannot please every single individual, and some people will be stubborn and not willing to cooperate. This hurts the team overall, and damages the positive vibes of the atmosphere. But something extraordinary can occur, that is actually a quite beautiful synergy, when teams master a smooth interaction. One article discusses this. It is thus noted that when teams master the process, the benefits are rewarding gaining knowledge, improved/acquired skills, and can speed up company delivery of whatever it is they are offering (Edmondson 2012). In other words, fantastic teamwork helps groups to figure out smartly how to get more productive work done, and meet the challenges that this whole new global economy throws in our face daily. Collaboration on projects demonstrates the truth of this concept. Exemplary cases of teamwork can be found in the healthcare, police, and airlines professions.
For example, it would not be unusual when searching for an available position in the airlines industry to find desired qualities such as passion, excellence in attitude, and teamwork to be highly coveted qualities. The interesting thing about it, is that you might say you have these qualities but during the in-person interview, the hiring staff can sense and feel if you truly are a people-loving person. Since this particular business sector serves the public in giving enjoyable experiences, personable qualities for their workforce is absolutely central to the highest marketability of these kinds of enterprises. In terms of the second aspect of contribution performance, in making work meaningful ties into this entire situation. When you feel like you are making a worthy contribution, your profession and life makes a difference to people in society, and makes you feel better about your role. This creates an overall ambience of a more balanced life of significance.
Reflection #3: The importance of leading a meaningful life, thinking about the voices and experiences of Jane Goodall and Mohammed Yunus.
Life-long learning is a valuable personal and professional asset to acquire. The sooner it is remembered, the better one’s whole living experience can be enhanced. There is nothing better than truly feeling the bubbly excitement of work, and the chosen profession or career. The factor of making a difference on earth’s society matters a great deal. We were provided two examples of this, when a person is passionate about their professional pursuits in a way that truly helps others, carving out an improved space in society for future generations. In other words, it is possible to feel happy and do work that blends with a personal philosophy of seeing the need and ethical duty to give back to society. The case of Mohammed Yunus taught us that one can even achieve the heights of becoming a Nobel Prize recipient, by creatively finding ways to help others with their financial problems. We learned that Yunus focused his mindset on socialized business joint-ventures, in a way which allowed the very poor people of Bangladesh (and elsewhere in the world) to have hope in starting a modest business. If you really think about it, he helped others help themselves when he created the functional concept of micro-lending, empowering folks with tiny loans for start-ups. What is even more incredible, is Yunus’ firm belief to the ethics of the idea. In other words, the micro-loans are not for the end-purpose of getting rich, but to support those who would otherwise be starving in the mud all their lives while the community surrounding them suffers a similar fate.
The second case of Jane Goodall has famously been written in the archaeological annals of life-learning. Her passionate pursuit of meaningful living while doing important work for the benefit of society is truly an inspiration. It was learned that Jane Goodall’s early childhood experience began with a serious love of nature, wherein her curiosity compelled her to take notes while going on her walks observing the birds, and all the wildlife she found. The bottom line was a dual spark: (a) her love of learning, and (b) true curiosity. When reflecting on what Jane Goodall achieved by inspiring herself and others with her work on chimpanzee behavior, it really makes me think of my decisions and relevant elements of what a meaningful life is to me. I think the first step is for me to be honest, from deep within myself, and try to think about what areas of living is most interesting. Secondly, while being honest from my heart, I need to decide if I feel better working at a company as an employed person or if becoming an entrepreneur is better suited. The lifestyle of a non-profit organization could be very fulfilling.
The most important aspect of how I can create a more meaningful life for myself, was raised after reading the Christensen article. A meaningful life to me means learning my best strengths, and garnering awareness of my weaknesses. This way, whatever I decide to focus on will formulate the best me I can be. While will never be a ‘Jane Goodall,’ or ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ it is possible to strive for having passion, ethics, and caring for people in whatever career is a right fit. Having a meaningful life also means doing some good for nature, and appreciating its beauty. For example, many people like to paint quietly while looking at the green grasslands, mountains, or rivers of creation. You do not have to be a Vincent Van Gogh to enjoy enrichment of life by trying to paint pretty pictures. Basically, the main task for a happy life is to embrace the challenges and find out how to give back to society in a way that makes you feel good. Depression can really kill the soul. So giving back is important because of how great it makes you feel inside.
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