Northern Ireland Water’s reputation has been damaged, just like Heathrow and BP last year. As a result the public may become wary of the business sector, even though business and society need each other. Heathrow is a shopping mall with planes and was sold off to a Spanish construction company under the Labour Government. The C.E.O. is on £1 million per year but Heathrow only invested £100,000 in snow clearance.
Heathrow wasted the time of thousands of its customers, but Manchester Airport, run by the local council, remained efficient. If a business is focused entirely on profit (using money to accrue more money) standards drop. The real wealth is the quality and dependability of the service plus the value and durability of the products.
During the freeze I noticed how a bag of logs was more valuable than 4 one pound coins, in real terms. Money is just the exchange mechanism and can only be stored or spent. Logs burn and heat the room while coins are useless in that situation. People want quality homes, pure water, less crime, good food and health, a sense of belonging etc. which is denied them. People are asking for environmental standards with the produce and services they pay for. People in business want a sense of purpose and pride with their work, so the business sector needs to rethink the challenge because shared value and good service means advertising is unnecessary.
The resurrection of the economy can’t use the same old capitalism that caused the problem in the first place. The capitalism shown by N.I.W. is blind to the opportunities of shared value i.e. earning money by creating economic value and societal wealth! Businesses can still have stock value but there needs to be an extension to “whole value”!
Take biodiversity as an example. The variety of living species is endangered – every six minutes there is an extinction. Biodiversity is essential for life on earth and enhances Biological water purification, pest control, soil fertility in agriculture and is the main pollination of food crops and grazing for meat. Biodiversity has an estimated value of £33 trillion, yet is managed mainly by charities, individuals and some government departments, mired by red tape and inefficient decision-making.
Co-operating business networks that cater for social needs and ease environmental pressures will succeed in resurrecting the economy, for long term sustaining all round wealth creation. The old style capitalism of N.I.W., Heathrow, B.P. etc. along with banking speculation, has created many gaps in the market by their damaging, short term thinking and extreme profiteering.
We need to rethink our business priorities, innovate, make new ideas happen and carefully keep our business counterparts in business because everyone is needed.
The word “business” originates from the old Anglo Saxon “bisignis” which means anxiety. Perhaps we need to change to BUSYNESS