The last 18 months of my life has been full of failure; the most beautiful failures.
Trying something and failing,
trying something else and failing again.
It’s been exhausting.
It’s also been full of remarkable progress, incredible insight and a multitude of humbling experiences.
To adapt a wonderfully insightful passage from Pema Chodron,
“Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands.
With wholehearted commitment comes inspiration, but sooner or later we will also encounter fear. For all we know, when we get to the horizon, we are going to drop off the edge of the world.
Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s waiting out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.”
I’ve come to realise two things:
- Modern cultures have a tendency to de-humanise, and the cultures within our organisations are no different, and
- There is an innate and interconnected relationship that exists between society and business.
These two things are important because they help to explain, at least in part, how the de-humanisation of our organisations is connected with trauma in society.
- Firms across the UK were fined $540m for corporate governance and compliance failings in 2019.
- Last year, in the UK over 17 million workdays we are lost as a result of mental health illness.
- The incidence of 9-12 year old children self harming has doubled in the last six years in the UK.
These statistics are shocking and connected. The quality of the governance within our organisations flows outward into our society in multiple channels, principally through the human connection.
Organisations are made up of the very same human beings that make up society. Happy humans make a happy society. If our humans are part of a blame, shame of fear culture in their work; research is clear, they bring it home and into society.
I have expressed for sometime that this thing we call governance is largely misunderstood.
In order to fully grasp its complexity, we have to broaden our view; we have to realise that governance is not about compliance.