A new society will follow a new economic model
By: Paula Stewart
Published Date: 14 September 2020
I have always been an advocate for employees and teams. I know that if you take care of your employees, you will have satisfied customers. You can do better serving your customers, if you consider your employees an equal stakeholder. I work to change the impact on humanity related to short-term financing and goals: not addressing systemic issues, date-driven development, heroic efforts, loss of team dynamics, relationships, and health.
I love giving people a voice, empowering them, and eliminating unnecessary work so that they can have more time and fun. Working with startups, midsize, and legacy companies as a transformation leader, I saw the human and organizational cost when an organization pursued an IPO or was publicly traded. As I had a double-major in Economics and International Relations, I couldn't help but think of this and its impact on our society. When did business become so transaction-based? I even considered the impact of companies who engaged in buy-backs of their stock to inflate stock values. America has been printing money to keep the stock market afloat. To whose benefit? Many of these companies are struggling after the pandemic's economic downturn because they had depleted their cash reserves.
This short-term, transaction-based thinking spills over to public health and climate control. Americans seem to be programmed not to have a long-term perspective.
My husband and I talked about the fact that it likely would take some crisis to wake people up. We knew that the climate crisis would be exponential and not linear. Dr. Fauci recently published an article stating that the climate is a factor in pandemics. At the same time, there are headlines every day about the fires in California, Oregon, Washington, and even Colorado. For our children and grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, we want better.
I see cognitive dissonance, sunk-costs, and programming from childhood that encourages our society to think only about the short-term. Since my early thirties, I balanced work with care-giving, and this has altered my perception of the world. Individualism and the short-term is not enough. Political apathy and lack of conviction are too costly.
Most of my family is involved in psychology, education, transformational coaching, team coaching, and talent acquisition. There are a few civil rights activists and professional volunteers. I am incredibly proud of my family of origin. For us, long-term value made sense as it is more holistic and humanitarian. I realize that I cannot help thinking about long-term value. That alone often put me at odds with some organizational cultures and goals.
In the last few months, I have had the blessing of time more than I have had for twenty years. I have involved myself in transformational coaching, ecosystems, and communities focused on the new normal. I have been doing research and putting together solutions with a team based on combined experiences.
I have vetted our solutions with additional research. I came across a study published by Rajay Gulatic in June of this year, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who interviewed hundreds of founders and growth CEOs. He confirmed what I had experienced: "There is a danger that added bureaucracy and "new blood" will cause workers to feel stifled, customers, to feel disconnected, and an organization's entrepreneurial flair to disappear. "
I then researched venture capitalists to understand that they are less interested in a particular startup or founder's success than in the returns from their entire portfolio. Deciding to utilize venture capital means you are looking at an exit strategy. That makes a difference in the perception of sustainable value and impacts culture and relationships. Even ideas and startups are disposable, measured only from a profit perspective, or at least valuing profit over everything else.
I just came across a medium article that renewed my hope in America. At Sevawise, the new normal is part of our vision and mission. Reading this article makes this new normal more tangible. It announced the Long-Term Stock Exchange.
My father used to say that in the 1950s, he saw a switch from community and relationships to "I got mine, how'd you make out." I know that America's only way to build for the future is by considering a different economy that includes sustainable value, humanity, and returns beyond profit alone. I think the long-term stock exchange is an excellent step towards that future.