By Ben Pickup
Conduct & Consumer Protection Risk Specialist
On the 25th March 2018, I will be heading off to India for 2 weeks. The main purpose of the trip is to attend a retreat in Dharamsala (Home of the Dalai Lama) at the Tushita Buddhist Meditation Centre. The main subject of the 10-day (mostly silent) retreat is ‘Dealing with disturbing emotions’.
Now, some may be curious as to how an English born, Australian raised and Irish domiciled individual comes to find themselves in the foothills of the Himalayas? Some may also challenge why something as personal as this should be shared on LinkedIn. Hopefully, you will understand my intent by the end of the article.
For those who have read my posts on LinkedIn, you will know I am passionate about two things: 1) Consumer Protection; and 2) Culture – more specifically what drives individual behaviour. It is the second area that we will concentrate on.
As I have mentioned before, trying to build a collective culture in any area of life is challenging. Bringing together individuals from across different backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, age and belief systems AND then expecting to harmonise these elements into a cohesive organisational culture would appear almost impossible.
But for me, the common thread that binds these eclectic differences is that we are people first, without the labels, and at our core, desiring a culture based on compassion, equanimity, kindness and interconnectedness. People are looking for a ‘human’ culture in which to believe, one that allows them to fulfil a purpose larger than themselves. People want to be happy!
For some, these terms may seem fluffy, intangible and aspirational at best, especially when attempting to bring focus to the more common corporate values of ‘customer centricity’, integrity, courage etc. (Note that many of these are also intangible and have proven to have had little effect in the past e.g. VW, FIFA, Oxfam).
Yet I would challenge those same people to research historical corporate scandals and not reach a conclusion that most occurred due to two main reasons: 1) Greed; and 2) Fear.
If we reflect further about the subject of my upcoming retreat, and think to those two core drivers of corporate scandals, you cannot help but be curious as to what was going on for the individuals concerned e.g. managers, employees, families etc. What drives people to behave this way in the face of obvious consequence? What emotions are they experiencing? What is life like behind closed doors? [Read more…]