The Power of Love … in Business
I found myself watching the Royal Wedding the weekend before last. I was not particularly planning to, but after an interesting debate at Middleton Hall’s Current Affairs discussion group about who should walk Meghan up the aisle (and if the idea of “giving away” the bride fits in modern Britain) I watched with interest.
The modern thinking discussion group felt she should walk herself up the aisle and they were correct, with a little bit of Prince Charles helping out for the last bit.
Two things stood out for me. 96-year-old Prince Philip walking confidently into church without so much as a walking stick, a month after a hip replacement. That shows the attitude needed to get to 96.
And then of course, Rev Michael Curry’s address. Wow. I could hardly believe that I was watching a British Royal Wedding.
Predictably, this week’s discussion group revealed a complete split on the appropriateness of the Bishop’s charismatic address and whether an American Bishop should even be preaching at a British wedding, but most agreed that it was a positive signal towards a modern, thinking Royal Family.
For my part, I thought he was terrific and his message that the power of love could solve much in the world has real resonance in the times we live. Apart from families, communities and international relations all needing love it seems that the good bishop also thinks a bit of love would be good in business. I agree.
Running a business is not all about money.
The remarkably damning report that appeared in the week after the Royal Wedding from the Commons Select Committee about that the directors of Carillion “too busy stuffing their mouths with gold” while the company collapsed did nothing to improve the image of capitalism. Certainly, the report concluded that there was no love lost for their employees, customers or suppliers and showed nothing better than corporate greed.
Rev Michael Curry is correct. Rather more love in business should avoid the sort of terrible examples that big company failures like BHS, BCCI, Enron and now Carillion set.
Running Middleton Hall is of course very different from Carillion. It is a small, entrepreneurial company that aims to make a positive difference for people, so our values are inherent rather than being corporate platitudes. We work at Middleton Hall because we do care. Of course, a business that cares for people also brings huge responsibility. Sadly, even in social care there are some poor examples where the money is seen as the only priority and the wider social responsibility is forgotten as too many newspaper headlines have revealed. I doubt the residents in failing care homes experience the power of love that Rev Michael Curry had in mind.
Whatever you may think of the appropriateness of the Most Reverend Michael Curry’s Royal Wedding sermon, the message was right. A bit more love in business could genuinely help capitalism improve its image.