News today has been filled with accounts of the horrors of war and the chaos that ensues in its wake. Just this morning I awoke to every news agency reporting on the failed ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Honestly, it is quite astounding to see just how much coverage is given to the negativity that stems from this conflict. That is not to say that there is no good news that comes through the airwaves. With each story of terror and death comes an account of public outreach and assistance. Humanitarian efforts are a refreshing breath of fresh air amidst the conflict, and seeing the outpouring of generosity from the worldwide community is encouraging. Not only is it a show of support by entire nations, it is an action that benefits both parties. The recipients of aid find the help that they need while the nations themselves improve their image across the world stage.
Though it may seem like something that is cost prohibitive to aything but the largest nations, this is a tactic that companies can employ to their advantage as well. As companies come to the realization that their businesses are not run simply by the bottom line, they will realize that there are benefits, both tangible and intangible, from giving more to not only their customers but also to the community. Senteo, both as a business and as a team of individuals, agrees with the idea that a business can operate successfully despite giving what it can to the community. Give and Take by Adam Grant, a book that we have reviewed in the past, has echoed this sentiment in fine fashion.
So many people believe that there can only be things written in black and white. Give and Take challenges this thought, stating that while there are those who will stand on either side of the line, there is the opportunity to find success by blurring the line between the two. We selected Grant’s book for this reason; rather than being adamant on one specific course of action, it attempts to find new, adaptive ways to both engage the business and their audience. Very few companies are able to blend the moral goals of a non-profit enterprise with that of a for-profit entity. Profits and generosity battle for precedence in the minds of business owners, but Grant shows that harmony can exist between the two. “Otherish giving” becomes the main focus of his methodology. Rather than simply giving, he emphasizes giving only if it does not negatively affect another project. This goal is one that is amiable in the sense that it gives back to the community, but also that it can serve as a positive influence upon the business without negatively impacting their operations. For those who have the ability to, otherish giving is an opportunity to “give and take.”