Yes, it’s a sinister line from Hot Fuzz – but acting for the Greater Good sits at the heart of all good communication.
There are many occasions in the life of a business where difficult decisions have to be made. And it’s simply not possible to declare that ‘there will never be any redundancies’ or that there will never be any challenging changes to deal with in the future. Many mergers and acquisitions fall down because promises that can never be kept are made at the outset and then broken with impunity.
Resolving not to say things that can not be true is a key aspect of acting for the Greater Good.
In this context, it simply means having the best outcome for all concerned at the heart of all actions.
From another angle, if the business strategy has to entail making half the workforce redundant then acting for the Greater Good means approaching that potentially personally devastating piece of communication with empathy and understanding. Certain you are treating each individual with respect and humanity. Following rules and procedures isn’t enough – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Implementing change is an essential part of any business. And worrying about whether people like the change or not is not the issue.
Engendering a collective respect, knowledge and appreciation of the greater good goes a long way to helping a business behave as a single entity.
It helps avoid those situations where people fight necessary change or simply fight for their own end.
And it’s something which has to reach from the very top of the business throughout all the layers, so that, as far as possible, everyone is truly working together.
For the greater good.