USA- Greg and Mae: How to choose the values that will sustain your enterprise?
During the meaningful hangout held on Tuesday 20th November Greg Hodges and Mae Carmel Walters explored the question: How to choose the values that will sustain your enterprise? They kicked off the conversation by offering highlights of their enterprise and the values they selected to drive it. “We asked ourselves what kind of work, what kind of lifestyle do we want? Moving to a rural area and being engaged in agriculture was the answer and we evolved from ambitious gardening to feed ourselves and our neighbours, to then expanding to an enterprise to supply over 100 families with fruits and veg.”
They explained that every once in a while they came up with something that was not really what they wanted to get into and a lot of those boundaries were shaped by their values: love of all living things, build unity, add more to society than we want to take from it, centrality of science to human progress, build others’ capacities.
“Our process of identifying those values was informal, close personal relationship and established communications as a married couple, reading and talking about it – starting out really broad with the full context and then becoming more narrow – not only what business and what practices we want to have but also the issues we were reading about in the news, challenges for agriculture and environment in global scale, food constraints etc.. Initially it was an internal conversation then we expanded it to people who have experience and who surround us. The direction is self decided and then those values help us find the people to work with. We became aware that no other individual has the same set of values that we have.”
“Organizationally when you say we are going to be a “just organization” the conversation will open and defining it will be important, aiming to find a common denominator. Values need to define action: what should and what should not happen.”