A Matter that Caught My Attention

My first topic entry is already a divergent one. I often read Thomas L. Friedman in the NY Times and today he had an interesting article about how he feels he needs to react to people in a camera phone and blogging society. You can find what he wrote in an article titled “Blogosphere.” He is noticing that how people interact with and work with each other is becoming more and more vital. I came across this idea a few weeks ago when I was looking over my amazon account, particularly at books that it suggests for me. One that came up was Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism by Patricia Aburdene.  The idea here is:

Book Description
14 million Megatrends books sold!

in a great while a book comes along that challenges conventional wisdom
and opens the floodgates to the future. Megatrends 2010’s blend of
meaning, morals and bottom-line economics celebrates the demise of
Business as Usual and the birth of Conscious Capitalism.

Megatrends 2010, Patricia Aburdene, co-author of the bestselling
Megatrends 2000, investigates corporate social responsibility and
identifies seven megatrends that will redefine business in the coming

Megatrends 2010:

Explains why firms like
Timberland, Wainwright Bank, 3M, Chiquita Brands, Motorola, Intel and
others are taking a stand for corporate social responsibility Shows
that more than 63 million Conscious Consumers prefer to buy from
companies who share or reflect their values and lifestyle Describes the
surprising power of conscious techniques to enhance productivity Shows
that socially responsible and green funds often outperform mainstream
mutual funds Explores the New Economy of Consciousness and the quest
for ethics in business within the legal confines of modern capitalism

demonstrates that significant numbers of both new-economy and old-guard
companies are tapping into the wave of conscious capitalism to clean up
the corporate image, save the environment, help the less fortunate—and
boost the bottom line.

My viewpoint is a bit more cynical. I take what Friedman writes and meld it with the results that Aburdene posits.  If everyone knows that they are potentially being monitored, either through direct recording or from eye witness accounts, then the aspect of negative reinforcement will deter that behavior. Now from an individual viewpoint it used to not matter as much because it became digital noise, but now Google is getting good at preventing that. Savy recruiters find this information and couple your personally prepared resume with your Google prepared profile. I’m not sure what to think of that. Maybe the expectations lower as people become more jaded to what they find. But the true winners will prevent themselves from being painted in a negative light – Friedman’s contention. Now looking at it from a corporation’s viewpoint, a chair company no longer sells chairs, they sell chairs that were responsibly made. That means the wood came from trees that were plentiful, they were assembled in a “green” factory, the packaging is recycleable, the chair is safe, and finally, it is reusable. In a flat world, making the chair is easy, but distinguishing your company as a reputable one is now part of the product. I agree with Aburdene that a socially conscience boom is on the horizon. We are getting smarter about hidden costs… and cameras.


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