Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Fairtrade, Gandhi and Radio Lancashire

I was a member of the audience in the Sally Naden show yesterday at Radio Lancashire and I can thoroughly recommend going to see a live show (is show the right word for a radio programme). There is no cost to attend and all I had to do was reply to an email. I went to see Chonkinfeckle, a duo from Wigan who play the ukulele. Sally also had two other guests, Bruce Crowther who spoke eloquently about fair trade and Fairtrade products. The third panelist had her own business that looked to promote businesses by quantitative and qualitative research as well as networking and I am sure a lot of other things.

I nearly managed to give a plug to the Morecambe Ukulele Club when Sally asked if anyone else played the ukulele. Unfortunately there were three players on the front row who had travelled from west Yorkshire. Still, I can give Morecambe a plug now.

I did enjoy listening to the music and I was also interested in what the panelists had to say. I am not a great fan of networking which strikes me as who you know not what you know. I don't particularly like the level of research or the context in which it is carried out. I feel that it leads to successful companies compounding their success to the detriment of the smaller competitor. Similarly I have heard that advertising may promote a particular brand but does not sell more of a particular product.

To summarise my dissatisfaction with this aspect of our society I would mention a comedy sketch from 'Come Fly With Me' a TV programme with David Walliams and Matt Lucas. They are working at an airport check-in and sell priority boarding tickets to everyone. If everyone had equal access to expensive research then everyone would be where they were in the first place but it would cost society so much more.

Bruce responded to the lady's role by saying that there are some aspects that were necessary because of accountability but he preferred Gandhi's attitude about doing something because it is the right thing to do. I have since looked up the quote and it is 'It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.

It is important to make a profit, at least occasionally. It is important to be successful in business but wouldn't it be nice that profit and success could be achieved simply by doing the right thing?

Change the world

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