WayIndicator Number 6 – April 2013
If we have a picture in our mind which visualizes our achievements and future condition, let us transfer it onto paper – this is our vision. Add a sincere, three sentence summary “who am I and what do I wish to do”. This is our Curriculum Vitae – it is worth more than any degree, certificate or title that nowadays are no longer the main factors of success.
The world around us is changing and new hierarchies are being established and new long-term forces are formed which will determine the future. The society recognises innovation, originality and practicability more and more. French professor Jacques Attali believes that the future lies in the positive economics, which takes into consideration the interests of future generations and is useful for as many people as possible, from the social as well as environmental standpoint.
Most ideas emerge from pain, personal unfulfilled wishes or from needs of others. The environment helps us develop them; therefore we can share them without fear, because only a multitude of ideas can lead to change. Their realisation demands hard work, focused thinking and constant testing in practice. Deep rootedness and strong connection with the environment help us with this. We are depicting ideas, connectedness and interdependence in two short pieces which follow the interview.
Today’s issue is dedicated to a person who supplemented Ghandi’s saying on change – no excuses. With her work she proves that everything is possible if we believe in ourselves, observe the world with eyes and ears open, make connections and work without excuses.
Madi Sharma is the founder of the ‘Madi Group’ – a group of non-profit and private sector companies which follow the philosophy of creation of new ideas with “local action and global effect”. She chairs the WESTT organization – Women’s Economic and Social Think Tank.
The English woman of Indian origin started her story of success in her own kitchen where she established her fist company that soon expanded to 2 factories and 35 employees. She received the Asian Woman of Achievement and UK’s Best Boss awards for this achievement. She is a member of a group of employers at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels and she is active on questions regarding small and middle sized companies, education, food, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. She is a supporter of social entrepreneurship and women innovations, an internationally recognized motivational speaker and lecturer and her last project is a portal called www.entrepreneurenvoy.org, intended for the exchange of experience, ideas and promotion of entrepreneurship.
Madi says that a day, when her actions do not make a difference in the world, is a lost day for her. Her inspiring story how she, as a victim of domestic violence, without education and a single mother, decided to take life into her own hands, proves that anything is possible if we so decide.
Interview with Madi
“If a person is exposed to different experience and situations, it benefits them with creation of new ideas.” Hean-Tatt Ong
An enterprising man has passion, wishes to do incredible things, wishes to give back to the society and generate profit while doing so. Success now more than ever depends on how well we can take advantage of our imagination and whether we can create new ideas. In fact, we live in one of the most exciting eras, when we have to fight and each day we need a new survival plan. This way our abilities successfully develop and together with ideas they are our assurance of success.
We must give room to honest development of creativity and innovation. We can use creative thinking to battle depression and fear, awake dormant talents, develop potential, qualities and abilities we otherwise do not even notice. It enables us to be in the present instead of analysing the past and pondering on the future.
A modern manager encourages innovative work of his/her employees which he/she directs to forget about limitations of their formal education and develop diverse knowledge. He/she raises boldness in them and inspires them to make connections where there are none yet. Together they may even find a path which will define their business anew.
There are a number of techniques for producing ideas, however, we can help ourselves daily to get rid of old routines which obstruct development of new ideas and thus we should:
– stimulate our curiosity to gather a greater stock of raw material from which we will draw on to create new ideas
– learn about new subjects outside of our field of work or study
– read about contents, which we have not until now, for example about sports, science, health, art in order to expand our horizon
– attempt new hobbies, learn new skills and bravely test them
– develop imagination and playfulness – the forms of expression with which we came into this world
– take creativity seriously and pay regard to our sixth sense called intuition
– talk to strangers to learn something new about that person, their culture, history and the way of life of a nation
Men and women: together to more creative progress
“If we know anything, then we realise that creativity and innovation come from diversity. If you have ideas of both genders, statistically you will do better.”
Dr. Nancy Adler
G. Meredith, an English writer and poet once said “Men are born to lead, women are born leaders”. The truth of his statement is confirmed in modern research which substantiates the fact that companies with a higher percentage of women in management positions are more successful than those that have only men on their management boards. It is not about distinction between the sexes, even less so about competition or proving that women are as competent as their male colleagues.
Transition to the humanitarian principle
What is it about? It is simply a natural fact and awareness that we can only progress as individuals and as a society if we develop together in accordance with a new consciousness. We must rise above the economically organized way of our civilization and make the transition to a philanthropic principle. Namely, the traits of the female principle of leadership include care, attentiveness, intuition, the sense of aesthetics and environment. These are the qualities that awake the feeling of safety and awareness that we can express our own opinion, idea and talent. The research shows that companies, which have women in management positions, invest more into education of their employees than employers in general. In the long term this results in greater value for an individual and the environment.
In fact we can state 6 key principles of female leadership:
1. Value and ethics-orientated
2. A holistic approach
3. Inclusion and cooperation
5. Sharing visions, values and goals
6. Cultivation of trust
When we add these qualities to the male principle of quick action and jump to attack whenever a stressful situation is at hand, we can talk about a good alliance which strives for the greater good for an individual and the environment. “Female” traits are not reserved only for women; mature male managers also develop them. They are aware that they can make a major contribution to a better world by promoting integration.
Achieving competitiveness with harmony
According to the findings of the World Economic Forum countries, where men and women have mainly equal rights, are economically much more competitive than those where the gender gap causes women and girls to have limited or no access to healthcare, education, elected positions and the market. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that women farmers can, provided they have equal access to seeds, fertilizers and technology as men, reduce the number of malnourished people in the world by 150 million. If we transfer this to business, we find that investment into mixed teams and training, does not only mean that business women can improve the lives of their families, but they will also make an important contribution to the economic growth of their countries. According to the opinion of John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, American diplomats strive for full inclusion of women in peace talks and efforts to ensure safety, as experience of women, their interests and views at the negotiating table, can help prevent future conflicts and form a more lasting peace.
Integration – a stepping stone on the way to creating a better world
It is therefore not a coincidence that when talking about a better world, a more creative society and innovative solutions there is so much talk about women. They themselves establish different societies, associations, organizations, communities in order to get to the right positions in the society and to contribute to the common welfare. Female energy is pivotal with this. It gives room for integration, inspiration and trust where an individual can easier discover the gift within her, build a wide network of similarly thinking individuals and in doing so receives all the support and drive to embark on her way to realising her idea and accept responsibility even on management positions.
A highly conscious society knows that it is no longer a question of quantity but of quality of our development which may only occur with harmony. We need women and men, who will, through equality, provide new values for healthy relationships, respect for human and his gifts, creation of new solutions, an ethical society and sustainable development.