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Goodness & Happiness (2)

I've been mulling the subject of what it means for business to be more generous for some time. I've written a couple of posts on it, but I figured it was time I gathered it all together and put down something more coherent. When I started writing, somehow it ended up as a presentation, but that's no bad thing.

At the heart of this is the belief that business needs to fundamentally shift its approach in the interactions it has with its customers. That it needs to readjust to the new balance of power that characterises a hyperconnected world. By nature, business is not generous. But in the context of the systemic meltdown we have just witnessed, it is time to begin thinking about what Umair Haque calls "next generation business". So this is about marketing. It's about personal outlook. But it's also about the function of business, and the great big fat opportunity that business has to interact with the world in a different way.

As usual, I am indebted to some great thinking and writing which has helped form my own thoughts on this, notably from: Mark, Faris, Umair, David, Eaon, Charles, Asi, Seth, JP, Paul and Paul, whom I credit in the presentation.

This is something I believe in.

20 responses to “Goodness & Happiness (2)”

  1. Charles Frith Avatar
    Charles Frith

    Terrific for me Neil. Some of those slides are my words put much better and I can't tell you how heartening it is to see ideas that I explained as 'not putting wealth creation at the centre of the wealth creation model' being said by people who like me know and believe that the cynical nature of business is at a turning point.

    I think people get shy at the notion of being/doing good.

    I think pragmatism is what drove the world of commerce before but we have a new economic pragmatism which is all about, to quote Bill Clinton and others, 'we're all in it together'.

    Put like that it makes sense to do as much good as possible.

    Here's some of my comment stuff on the topic

    I also think my brand values post kind of got close to this.

    Which was funny because I was just about to join the agency who made it.

    Onwards, onwards.

  2. neilperkin Avatar

    Thanks Charles. Nice touch with the comments link – knowing what a prolific commenter you are know there's going to be some good stuff in there 🙂

  3. Anjali Avatar

    Loved the presentation, Neil. It brings so many relevant thoughts together. The idea of generosity – being open with what you do, what you learn – is something that agencies really need to learn if they are to make a difference, not just to the industry but to the people who work with them. I heard about some people in India organising a FailCamp recently, where you learn from open case studies of others' failures. I thought that's brilliant. THAT is being generous with your knowledge, taken to a different level.

  4. Anjali Avatar

    And Charles – do you purposely use the words 'economic values' in ALL your comments?!!!

  5. Charles Frith Avatar
    Charles Frith

    Anjali. God no. It's just one amongst a lot of comment topics. Google me and say neocons and you might get some breadth of my interests. Or even religion if you're at a loose end.

    I know more about 20th century US politics than planning. Not sure if that is something I should fess up too 😉

  6. purchlive Avatar

    Beautiful stuff…..we are working on making the ecommerce place a better space. I hope we can give back something in the process.

  7. neilperkin Avatar

    Anjali – thanks. Liking that failcamp idea. Overdue that I put you on the blogroll BTW so will rectify that

    purchlive – thanks and good luck with that.

  8. jMac Avatar

    Great work Neil. This is hardcore fuel for every single one of us.

    Blogged here:

  9. Asi Avatar


    You put your heart (and money) where your mouth is.

    Not only is it a brilliant collection of goodness, it is also a very very generous presentation that will make everyone who reads it happy.

    Rock on


  10. neilperkin Avatar

    Asi, Jonathan – thanks guys. Appreciate the comments

  11. Dan Thornton Avatar
    Dan Thornton

    Brilliant presentation, summing up a lot of thinking in a really effective way…

    And, shockingly, it also highlighted I'd somehow failed to subscribe to your RSS feed (now rectified), so it's a bit of luck JMac blogged about it…

    Saved to be re-blogged shortly.

  12. neilperkin Avatar

    Cheers Dan

  13. BenAS Avatar

    Love this presentation, the images are great – but then again I am sucker for good photography.

    It is great to have people talking about this kinda stuff, I guess the real test of your commitment to this philosophy comes when you're faced with a choice between doing the what seems right and what makes money.

    But I would rather die trying to make this work than adopt a Victor Meldrew approach to life!

    thanks for the post.

  14. doug Avatar

    lovely stuff mate. you’ve nailed it again.

  15. neilperkin Avatar

    Ben – well said
    Graeme – thanks mate

  16. Nick Avatar

    Fantastic presentation – thanks for being so generous with your time and putting it together…

  17. neilperkin Avatar

    Cheers Nick

  18. Anjali Avatar

    Thanks for the blogroll link, Neil!

  19. neilperkin Avatar

    No worries Anjali

  20. Gavin Heaton Avatar
    Gavin Heaton

    OK, so I wonder why I haven’t seen this before. But then, of course, there is this torrent of life that we live in.
    But you know, I think this is even more pertinent now. Given the changes wrought upon us all by the global financial meltdown, we can safely say, things will never be the same again. So we now need to re-evaluate what we do – in every industry and in every market.
    Tipping points? A few years from now, we’ll look back and see this as a big one 😉

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