What does care and compassion have to do with business success?

Dr. Iain MacRitchie

What does economic success have in common with social justice? Let me start by saying they are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist long term without the other. As we emerge from COVID we need collaboration and consensus between private, public and third sectors. All our decisions must be rooted in care and compassion, whilst prioritising economic recovery. Division and partisan politics must be pushed aside for genuine partnerships to be formed with a common purpose. Business has a responsibility but must be respected, included in decisions and encouraged to a far greater extent. Ultimately it is business success that pays all the bills.

We have a fantastic opportunity to rebuild and create communities and a country we can be proud of.

I haven’t heard of or seen a sensible post COVID economic plan yet. Surely there must be one being worked on? We have the institutions and individuals capable enough. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. COVID has cost many all hope. With an actual plan for a better future, we can establish hope, the precursor to the required confidence. However, hope can be found in an economically successful and social justice driven plan for a better future. Confidence can build and flow into aspiration and with it a source of energy and commitment to overcome challenges along the way. Political division contributes nothing but politicians can be a catalyst to create momentum and help deliver the changes we all need. Economic prosperity alone creates the choice for us to be socially just and truly inclusive. We must develop a sensible post-Covid economic plan that all elements of society have meaningfully contributed to. I know first-hand that social justice makes complete financial sense.

There are huge pools of human talent that are constrained by poverty, written off by their postcodes and limited by their circumstances. Give them the voice and the support they need and they will release huge social cost savings to be reinvested. Research soon to be published from MCR Pathways demonstrates that mentoring those experiencing the most disadvantage could save the country over £100m in social costs per annum within 10 years.

We have the capacity, the skill and talent in our country, coupled with the energy and wisdom to make it happen. Relationship based mentoring and organisations like MCR Pathways that can bring every community together on a simple and shared purpose to help young people experiencing disadvantage to realise their full potential. Mentoring breaks the cycle and creates a ripple effect for future generations. The rewards and benefits are immediate and shared by mentee, mentor and the mentor’s employer. Attainment, achievement, progression, purpose, staff engagement and productivity gains to name but a few independently verified.

Care, compassion and an hour a week are the only ingredients required.

Positive human relationships will drive and power progress and allow us to establish a world leading well-being economy. Imagine that. Let’s stand in admiration, and not in judgement of those in the midst of and overcoming adversity daily. Let’s not isolate them but engage, inspire and learn from their lived experience. As we approach elections, give a platform to those that speak of and mean collaborative partnerships as the way out of the COVID chaos. Those that know that economic success really matters and can be fused with social justice. Condemnation, complaint and criticism cannot be allowed to dominate the agendas, column inches and airwaves. Time to move on, Scotland deserves better.

The Scotsman

About the Author:

Dr. Iain MacRitchie
Founder & Chair
MCR Pathways
Visiting Professor at University of Strathclyde

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