We are living through a revolution towards cohesion.
As protesters line the streets of every major city, I can not help but hear the cry for a just and green economy. All over the world, people are looking at the old and stagnant economic system of the past and recognizing the absence of its place in this new normal. This new normal, instead, invites an economy generated by and for the people, and I see humane entrepreneurs as the leaders of this movement.
We are living through a revolution towards cohesion. If we want to set the groundwork for circular systems of growth that uplift the humanity in each individual involved while working to protect the planet, then we might just create a world in which representation, equity, and empathy come naturally to leaders and followers alike. Currently, we are in the preliminary stages of change.
The collective world population is waking up to realize that the injustices that established nations can not go unnoticed and unrepaired. If we think for a moment as if a nation was an enterprise and, further, an entrepreneurial enterprise, what rating of Humane Entrepreneurship would the nation receive? If a country (any country) was an enterprise, would it present IDEAL, MODERATE, NEGATIVE, or HARMFUL Humane Entrepreneurship?
Seeing how the leadership and top managers have established cycles of harm that consider the financial profitability of the company over the well-being, enablement, and empowerment of their employees, it would seem that a country can also demonstrate systems of HARMFUL Humane Entrepreneurship. Typically improvements can not be created in or from a HARMFUL enterprise. Therefore, this points to foundational reforms, or the possible shut down of the company, so that it can rebegin from a healthier, more virtuous start. Within the transition from destroying to recreate, we might seek the HumEnt principles of empathy and equity as our guides to ensuring that the new company created does not repeat the same vicious cycles of the past.
We must emphasize that within every structure of society, and therefore including business, “respect for human dignity demands respect for human freedom.” The theory and practice of Humane Entrepreneurship are built around the notion that human capital, and the humanistic aspect, which is part of all of us, has been directly and indirectly forgotten within our societal practices. We seem to have simply omitted the value of each and every individual human, and instead replaced this value with that of economics. Therefore, we have accidentally turned economics into a destroying force for humane endeavors. However, seen over the past years, and represented mainly by micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs have refound themselves and their ability to uplift both financial and social capital simultaneously. Coupled with the incredible movement happening around the world today, the world might be able to create enough synergy to start anew.
Within this restart, we can then imagine what we might want to include. Understanding the characteristics of humanistic management, empathy is an essential “driving factor for employee engagement and communicative business culture, leading to a better understanding between organizational members and stakeholders.” Let us, for a moment, reverse the experiment above, now magnifying a business to a nation. If within an enterprise, empathy can significantly enhance engagement and communicative culture, imagine the incredible changes that could arrive on the greater scale of a nation, if and when we all decided to value empathy towards ourselves and one another. As empathy is often thought of as the “starting point of design thinking,” it seems perfectly reasonable that this would be a guiding principle in reimagining and reshaping our new nation.
From empathy, comes a movement towards equity. At the firm-level, equity encompasses the “extent to which a company treats individuals in a fair and equal manner.” This essential component to the work and world culture promotes “a sense of proportion,” agreeing that “the outcomes individuals receive should be awarded in proportion to their inputs and outputs” and understanding that not all individuals are starting in the same place because of embedded covert discrimination. In forming companies and nations that work for equitable solutions, we agree to unearth the past that has created these inequalities and the present that continues to recreate them.
Leaders that manifest the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship will undoubtedly feel more guided than others when system shattering moments come about. Humane Entrepreneurs can quickly adapt to the changes by recognizing their role in searching and working towards a more significant upliftment of the humane aspect of life. It is leaders, such as these, who can understand the opportunities in differences and similarities that will and will continue to build a world made for everyone, one flowing virtuously, greeting growth for all.