Over the years I have, as a matter of professional integrity, provided free advice & support to many micro businesses, self employed & professionals. I have never seen this as an issue or threat to the business of delivering excellent paid for services through the company. The advice or assistance often takes direct intervention & time to ensure a solution to a problem that would otherwise be paid for. However, recently I have come to the conclusion that, no longer will I be providing professional services for free, in the private sector.
There is a professional lady to whom I provided in- depth, personal development services that would have easily cost £500, only for her to tell me , after receiving the help that she ‘’she had no time for me’’ her exact words, verbatim!! Another recent case was a self- employed lady that needed urgent business start up advice. I signposted her to where she needed to go, what she needed to ask for & how to put the information & advice she was given to best use. I promised to email her further details but had problems with the address. I called to provide it verbally. She was out, couldn’t, she had no time ………but had enough time to give me an alternate email address & carefully spell it out. I did send abbreviated info (to what I originally intended) but no thanks in response. There are other recent similar cases, I won’t go into. This pattern of intensive, bitter taste in the mouth philanthropy, of, frankly what I see as being used or ingratitude; over the years is not infrequent, led me to think.
What of me?
Two questions I asked myself, do I do the same? After long honest reflection, no, I can’t think of incidence/s where, I’ve not appreciated assistance, or said thanks. The second question was how do I make a contribution, while avoiding a cold shower effect?
The answer corporate social desire; not corporate social responsibility – big business jargon for pretending to care, marketing ploy, or brand promotion, that the ‘responsibility’ part, seems to make forced/unwilling. This is real desire by business to bring professional assistance, to those that may otherwise not receive it. Topform, led by the Director, is now providing organizational development & fundraising expertise to a valued charity. We are throwing organizational resources, at helping prevent challenging behaviour in children that will be appreciated, though we may never have a thank you said to us. It’s simply great to do something worthwhile, within the ‘business world of dog eat dog’. Willingly using business expertise, to enhance lives (a seeming paradox)is what I call corporate social desire. Giving something for nothing
Ps . I see corporate social desire, as different from individual charity work , both are of value