The problem with “Governments and corporations have to change”

January 19, 2021 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

“What really has to happen is governments and corporations have to change.” People say it all the time. Do they think they’re helping?

I Am So Smart

Duh! Of course. We knew that already. Everyone knows that. That’s the goal. When they change, we only have to implement—a big challenge, but swimming downstream, not upstream.

It’s as pointless as to say

What really has to happen is we have to score more points than the other team.

or

. . . we have to create a better product and market it better than the competition.

Thanks for stating the obvious, smartypants!

They’re implying and often outright say, “individual actions don’t matter,” but dig deep to understand why they’re saying something so obvious is what they’re really abdicating responsibility, communicating:

Someone else, some other time, not me now

Here’s an example from Fast Company of the countless articles that miss the point, Focusing on how individuals can stop climate change is very convenient for corporations. I don’t recommend reading it. Here’s a quote showing a false dichotomy, as if one person acting excluded anyone else acting.

While individuals may have a role to play, appealing to individual virtues for addressing climate change is something akin to victim-blaming because it shifts the burden from those who ought to act to those who are most likely to be affected by climate change. A far more just and effective approach would be to hold those who are responsible for climate change accountable for their actions.

Do you see the “not me, not now, someone else” message?

How individual actions matter

Products don’t sell themselves. Points don’t get scored by themselves. People do it. How do we learn to build products and score points? We develop as individuals and teammates.

We develop ourselves through dribbling exercises, strength training, and their equivalents in other fields. We develop as teams through drills, scrimmaging, and their equivalents in other fields.

Every team member plays his or her role—the bench warmer, the person selling popcorn in the stadium, the team owner, the star player, the fans, . . . everyone.

Guess what? They’re all individuals acting, not saying someone else should do it. You don’t think fans help home teams win? Are you crazy? Everyone matters. Everyone. The “fan” who scowls “the team should just score more points” without acting affects the outcome as much as the ones cheering.

The team scores more points when everyone contributes.

Everyone.

We have more fun too.

I hope you’ll join us in living more sustainably, having more fun, supporting each other.

Then governments and corporations will change.

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