Many companies have compelling mission statements, well articulated values and CSR initiatives. But what truly matters is what a company and its people do in practice.

Previously in Executive Search, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing brilliant people every day. My challenge wasn’t finding talent – it was finding great companies I wanted to find talent for. I didn’t appreciate the urgent need to address this until I received a link to water poverty. This wasn’t water poverty caused by a drought. It was due to a water privatisation deal where the tariffs set were too high for the poorer members of the community to afford. The result? The water supply was cut off. One of the consequences? Little girls being bullied and teased at school for being dirty. What confounded me? The company leading the transaction had a link on their website to CSR (corporate social responsibility). I ask you, how can a company’s business practices cause harm but they have a department ‘to do good’?

It got me thinking about the people leading the transaction and the company’s strategy and modus operandi. Having interviewed many Investment Bankers, I knew that none of the ones I helped my clients hire would ever have been so short-sighted, so irresponsible. Moreover, my clients would never have accepted them.

So what was creating this? What impact was business having on society? How can we improve things?

I explored water poverty – what’s causing it, who’s impacted by it and what needs to be done to solve it. I was saddened by what I found, from questionable policies and poor principles to bad practices, misaligned performance metrics and poor decisions. The crux of it all? People and organisations – their collective mindset and motivations, their actions and inactions.

But I also found some great companies with incredible people doing a lot of good. These weren’t charities. They were profitable commercial entities (including banks). I studied these companies and profiled their people. The findings were extraordinary. These companies and their people gelled and excelled. They were principled and profitable. They were companies worth emulating. The findings were translated into the AMANI™ protocol.

Learn more about AMANI™ and how it can help you be your best – in your life, in your business and in the world at large.


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