Sunday, 11 September 2011

Banking on Fairness?

Being even handed, doing the "right" thing, seeing differing points of view, spotting the links and thus bringing about the creation of effective, stronger, solutions requires some specific skill sets, patience and can bring real benefits for all concerned.

I have been called upon to apply these skills in both my business and personal life, to my own personal detriment at times, but equally it has allowed me to earn respect and, I believe, in certain cases secure far more by way of outcomes, for me and others, than being intransigent and narrow sighted. I have been challenged in my belief that this approach is the right approach and if it's OK with you I'd like to briefly add some detail with some examples:

Having spent some time, pro-bono, developing the written documents for a sector specific business related group, to take it to being more independent, the group needed to source a part time manager. I was aware that there was a person, long associated with the group, who might be interested, but due to circumstances was unlikely to become aware of the vacancy. I also intended to apply myself. I was faced with a decision, did I stack the odds in my favour, or did I play fair and let the person know? (Which would you do?)

My son(17) is severely Autistic and has no speech. The hardest thing I think I may ever do was taking him, aged 10, and leaving him at a residential school some 120 miles away. All as a result of the Local Authority being unable to support him. This all resulted from his being permanently excluded as a health and safety hazard from his special school. I was a governor at the school at the time. I was faced with having to consider whether being agressive, or empathetic would be the best strategy; which would you have chosen?

I have many similar tales, but do not wish to labour my points, so will stop there with the examples.

Running underneath my opening comments is a personal belief that the world generally operates fairly and will give back what you invest in it. This belief is in turn supported by another, that this actually has some basis in Newtons third law of motion; that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Basically I believe what I put out, will come back in equal measure, but possibly from a different place. In effect I Bank on Fairness from the universe.

Many thanks for investing your time and reading this. I hope it has stimulated some interesting thoughts of your own, please leave a comment and let me know if you believe in "Banking on Fairness" from the universe, or not.

Oh yes to put your curiosity at ease in regards to the two examples; in the case of the group I let the person know and consequently they were appointed to the role, in case of the school I took the empathetic road. The latter certainly achieved a super working relationship with the team supporting my son and allowed me to influence service delivery and benefit others on a much wider scale.


  1. Brilliant blog Ben - you gained my respect it seems a very long time ago.

  2. Great blog! Thoughtful, engaging, real world. I guess we all face difficult decisions that we can never be 100% sure about - all we can do is assess what is before us and follow our hearts and intuition (to quote the great Steve Jobs, in part!)