Business Ethics – “Scarcity versus Abundance”

business ethics

Business ethics means that I’m a competitive guy and I like to win, but never at the expense of someone else. Unfortunately, there are those people who believe that in order for them to win, someone else has to lose (zero-sum). It’s based on a belief in Scarcity – resources are limited so we won’t share, that’s win-lose and it’s the basis behind greed and unethical behavior (poor choices, negative outcomes, and fear). In Abundance – resources are limitless so we can all share, that’s win-win and it’s the basis behind ethical behavior (wise choices, positive outcomes, and gratitude). With the resources available, zero-sum (greed) is unnecessary – Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of Zero-sum: of, relating to, or being a situation in which a gain for one side entails a corresponding loss for the other side.

I’m writing about this because as a small business, I often work with other small businesses. We compete for jobs but we join forces when a job is larger than one business can handle. We promote our businesses but work with other competitors to grow our facilitation industry (see my Facilitation Masters Conversation Series” videos). We advertise what we, as individual businesses, have to offer. We don’t steal other’s accomplishments to promote our own business and/or to win a job. We have to represent ourselves honorably. There is nothing honorable about winning when false, misleading information is promoted.

When a competitor wants to “destroy the competition”, they view the world as zero-sum. For instance, one of my competitors:

  • Uses and tags my name, “Gary Rush”, to benefit their business. The only business that I’m associated with is – MGR Consulting, Inc.
  • Takes credit for my 30+ years of accomplishments. I’m the only one who created FAST Facilitation and FoCuSeD™
  • Claims to have been in business longer than fact. I’m the only one who founded MG Rush Systems, Inc. in 1985 and renamed it MGR Consulting, Inc. in 2005.

We live in a world of abundance so there’s enough for all – no need for greed. Small entrepreneurial businesses today and tomorrow need to work and collaborate with each other to grow their industry so that everyone benefits.

Ethical businesses win through good work. Unethical businesses win through misleading and deceit. Ethical business is not about “destroying the competition” (win-lose). Zero-sum (Greedy/Scarcity) ultimately becomes lose-lose whereas Positive-sum (Sharing/Abundance) is always win-win.

Author: Gary Rush

Gary Rush, IAF CPF is Founder & CEO of MGR Consulting since 1985 becoming a leading facilitator and facilitator trainer creating his own facilitation technique - FAST revolutionizing it with FoCuSeD™ - a unique approach to structured facilitation transforming the facilitation industry. He has trained thousands of people from more than 18 countries, and has delivered his structured facilitation class in 8 countries within North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. His students have gone on to become CEOs and CIOs, crediting their success to the people and process skills gained in his facilitator training classes. He has written numerous “how to” books covering facilitation, collaborative leadership, strategic planning, data modeling, etc. During a hiatus from consulting, Gary owned and was "Chef" of a highly acclaimed restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – MG Rush dba Mirácles Restaurant. Gary has facilitated significant workshops including the first strategic plan for the combined EDS/GM organization. He also facilitated the Star Alliance workshop that resulted in identifying in-flight WiFi as a product offering. Gary is an IAF CPF Assessor and a former IAF Chair. Gary also formed and led the IAF Chicago Chapter, the second IAF chapter to be established in the U.S. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and holds a BS in English Literature.

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