Geof Cox's personal values statement
"Do what you think is ethically right, and it will turn out to be the best business decision too"
Making enterprise work for everyone
It is my rule to work only with enterprise that puts a social mission before making money. Typically, I assist the development of enterprise that does one or more of the following:
- creates employment and extends participation in enterprise to disabled and disadvantaged people
- involves employees and other local stakeholders in ownership and control
- has an artistic, heritage or educational mission
- aims to protect the natural environment, or works in other ways to improve health and wellbeing
- challenges injustice and exploitation in enterprise and trade generally
"Our resurgent need for real human relationships instead of bland commercial transactions will I predict be a key driver of business in the next decade"
Knowledge should be free
While it is important to protect some aspects of intellectual property – for example to prevent plagiarism or passing off an inferior product as a respected brand – I believe that intellectual property rights that restrict the free exchange of ideas and knowledge generaly work against the public interest.
An introduction to this philosophy can be found here: Social Enterprise & Intellectual Property.
One practical implication of this philosophy is that wherever possible I make my work freely available to all, for example through the Socentstructures project.
Another implication is that I use only 'open source' software - in case you were wondering, this website uses the Drupal open source content management platform, and was put together with the help of the leading ICT social enterprise Nornir
Empowerment not dependency
Many consultants work on the principle of getting inside the castle then pulling up the drawbridge (developing their own expertise while making it damned hard for anyone else to do the same).
This is a disempowering approach that I reject. Instead, consultancy should be an extension of training: working with people to enable them to understand and take control of their own potential. The consultant should always seek to give people the means to learn and do things for themselves.
Although of course I usually have to charge for my time, therefore, I always freely share knowledge and information - for example I try to provide written guidance, materials, etc, free of charge so that if you are time-rich but cash-poor you will be able to sort things out for yourself.