Counting guest posters, about 950 of them are mine.
What have I learned since the first post in October 2006?
Given the milestone, I thought I should try and write something slightly less trite than usual. At that, I may have failed, but here it is anyhow, the 1001st blog post. Cue the trumpets…
(If you look at the first post, you can see the blog was supposed to be a collaborative effort amongst writers around the world for Ethical Corporation. These days it’s mostly just me, and a bit of Ethical Corp’s indefatigable China editor, Paul French. I wonder if the failure of its joint approach says anything about the challenges of multi-stakeholder work. Maybe. Maybe not)
Anyhow, here’s my quick-fire random thoughts, in the usual feverish fashion, about some of what I’ve tried to learn:
- That communication is everything, but is so under-valued.
- That if anything you say, write or infer can be misunderstood, it often will be.
- That I should never assume anything.
- That all you learn, as you learn, is how little you know, and can ever know. That spurs me on, oddly.
- That speaking and writing in simple, plain English is incredibly important and often feels increasingly rare.
- That good copy reads like you’d speak it, if only one was that articulate.
- That you have to check data/sources, just as you’d get three cost quotes. Stories are often just that.
- That whilst first impressions count, they can easily be wrong.
- That CEOs are not scary people: Just smart charmers or technocrats often with a vision that lifts them above others, or a track record of caution.
- That everything in this field is more complicated than you think.
- That reading ethics philosophy doesn’t help understand what to do with the dilemmas that CSR throws up as much as you’d think.
- That I don’t enjoy managing people. Trying to enthuse them yes, but micro-management, no.
- That the only thing that is sometimes consistent is a lack of consistency.
- That Joesph Heller really did understand all the contradictions thrown up by capitalism and democracy when he wrote the world’s greatest novel, Catch-22.
- That being an eco/socio pessimist just makes you sad. If you can’t be optimistic, you can at least be positive about solutions and our eventual ability to learn and adapt as a race.
- That culture counts, more than anything, yet we hugely under-rate it.
- That yes, we do live in a volatile world, but we should have some perspective: Recall the events of WWII or even the 1970’s.
- That technology spreads faster than we can ever predict. Not that it will ‘save’ us, but it will help more than we currently give it credit for.
- That we’ve only just started innovating on sustainability & business. So much more is to come.
- That we may well be able to change consumer behaviour for the better once we actually put some serious resources behind it rather than messing around with label ideas and get stuck into incentives and story-telling.
I think I’ll stop there. 20 is a long list, even for me.