Organizational leadership for the common good

Balancing economic viability while striving for social and ecological sustainability

Multistream (common good) Mainstream (orthodoxy)
Emphasis on multiple forms of well-being for multiple stakeholders Emphasis on materialism and individualism, primarily for shareholders
Meeting needs/interests of all stakeholders Meeting needs/desires of shareholders
Provide goods or services to improve the human condition Provide goods/services that people want & max. profits
Organizations provide employment and livelihood Members have role in making organization successful
Outward (from organization) and longer-term orientation Inward (toward organization) and shorter-term orientation
Balance needs for self with others and ecological systems Primacy of needs and wants for self beyond other needs
Interest in sustainable systems Often becomes extractive & unsustainable
Adequate profits, plus people and planet (wellth) Profit maximization as bottom line (wealth)
Effectiveness and searching for significance Efficiency for sake of maximizing productivity
Collaboration (share good ideas) Competition (increase market share at expense of others)
Consider place of organization within the whole Specialization more of focus than broader context
Whole-life balance within broader meaning and purpose Work/wealth-centric approach, spurning spirituality
More relational More rational
Metrics more qualitative (more challenging to assess) Metrics more quantitative (simpler to assess)
Share (and give up) control Retain control at all costs
Confidence grounded in others Confidence grounded in self
“we can do it together” “I can do it, with your help”
Honesty is an end in and of itself Honesty is a means to an end
Sustaincentrism and egalicentrism (our way + our future) Egocentrism (my way, now)
Sustenance economics Acquisative economics
Concern for people Concern for task
Organization-Specific Responsibility (b/c it serves others) Corporate Social Responsibility (b/c is increases profits)
Look out for the “least of these…” (employees and others) Select and retain only the best and brightest
Leaders deflect praise to others Leaders seek, and welcome, recognition
Servant leadership (strong & self-confident, not weak) Controlling, top-down, and uni-directional leadership
Driven by concern for others (proximal and temporal) Driven by high emphasis on individualism/materialism

Sources: Dyck (2005, 2010), Schroeder (2005), Neubert (2010), among others


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