Understanding the growing importance of generosity as a leading societal and business mindset is going to be very important in 2010. Many in the corporate world are so far removed from today’s better informed, more opinionated consumer that their (non-) communications, inter-actions, and overall behavior is deeply out of touch with what consumers really want and expect. In other words … out of touch with the “real world”.
There are, of course, brands and executives who do get it, and those tend to be the ones that pop up as leading examples in our industry.
I know there’s hardly a company left that doesn’t have some kind of social responsibility program in place. Unfortunately, social responsibility initiatives can feel forced, viewed as a response to society’s pressures instead of a holistic desire to be good and to be generous. People have a natural tendency to be suspicious of such initiatives, and I’ve heard plenty of people respond to them with statements like “they are surely not doing that out of generosity.” Those kinds of responses make me wonder if the persons making the statements “feel forced” into this trend themselves.
That’s exactly why we need to make generosity a mindset in our organizations and not an initiative. We have to incorporate generosity towards employees and our customers into our programs and not make it a program in and of itself. Now, I’m not suggesting that you forget about bottom lines and profitability. Being generous to customers and employees doesn’t always mean giving away everything you have or contributing financially to a cause. Generosity is about being a bit kinder, a bit more caring towards your customers & employees. It’s not about how much you give, but about what you give and how you give it.
Applying this trend to how your company does business in 2010 is not really optional; it’s a fundamental requirement if you want to stay relevant in societies — like this one — that value generosity, sharing and collaboration. Joining obviously entails more than adding social responsibility; it means adopting a generous mindset that permeates every interaction with your community, employees, customers and shareholders.
Let me say this again: generosity is not all about social causes and giving things away! Generosity can be about providing value to the consumer: whether it is entertainment value or social value or experiential value; and there are some great examples of this already taking place in our industry!
And those are just two fine examples of a generous organizational mindset that will contribute to the success of these companies in the coming year as society comes to increasingly respect and expect such behavior.
Make generosity part of your mindset starting now, and reap the rewards of increased customer and employee loyalty in the coming year and beyond.
My next post will be about ways that we can show generosity to our resident and employees without breaking the bank!