The truth hurts
Climate change is a central topic of conversation no matter the platform you choose to consume your content on at the moment. And, probably one of the key figures in this arena is schoolgirl activist, Greta Thunberg, who has become the champion of Gen Z, rallying them behind her to generate some much-needed noise around the subject.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing reactions to her passioned calls for action are the personal attacks that have been levelled at her from adults who should know better, all around the world. From politicians to newspaper columnists, comments that centre on her known disabilities have been bandied around in an attempt to discredit her. And, what’s at the basis of this kind of behaviour? Fear, that her message may actually be right and those who support consumerism and profit at the expense of everything else might be forced into making changes that affect their back pocket.
The problem that happens when people are forced into defending their position through fear is that they dig in deeper and become even more connected to the idea that they are right. They do this rather than having a well-articulated debate about solutions and options, even if it means attacking the person, not the message.
When we need change at any level, internally in organisations, within our community or even globally, a key factor is education and information, backed up with facts and figures, delivered consistently and that is open to respectful discussion. When we create space for people to discover, explore and research multiple sides of a discussion on emotive topics across multiple platforms and mediums we see a self-actualised shift in behaviour that is driven by someone’s own perceptions and reasons rather than forced by someone else’s desire.
For companies that are driven by social purpose and to generate a positive social impact, building up your voice of authority with patience and consistency leads to the change you are seeking to create. With the current shifts in business this is becoming an essential element to a communications strategy to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on why change is necessary.
I’ve long held the belief that there isn’t one way to effect cultural and behavioural change and that we need the brave activists like Greta to make the noise and rally others to do the same. And then, once the seed has been planted, the quiet revolutionaries take the baton and gently support that message with options and solutions that can be easily adopted to make that change real.
On 20th September the Climate Change rallies will be happening all over Australia and, as an active member of the B Corp community, for us It’s Not Business As Usual. For the duration of the rally we will be downing tools and supporting this initiative, adding to the volunteer hours of those team members who aren’t in the office that day.
Like I’ve seen several times on social media over the last week, and to paraphrase; even if you don’t believe that the climate crisis is real, the worst case for taking action is that we clean up the planet and the worst case for NOT taking action is that everything – including us – dies. Seems like a no-brainer from where I’m sitting.