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If you can't change the world, change Deloitte

Witrh a 'Manfesto for Passion' John Hagel  of Deloitte says this of the need for change in the 21st century

"We need to move forward and engage the institutions around us. And the institutions have more and more need to listen to us. Twentieth century institutions are not succeeding in the twenty-first century as new infrastructures take hold. They must change or they will slowly shrink into shadows of what they once were and make way for a new generation of institutions more suited to the harnessing the potential of these new infrastructures"

my late colleague once told me about the advice he's been given by a college tutor from New College of South Florida where he'd persuaded the socialogy and economic departments to join together. 

"Putting a world changing idea into practice takes more than passion it requires affliction"

It was Leo Tolstoy who'd said "Everyone thinks of changing the world. Nobody thinks of changing themselves". Here was an exception

Engaging at the top, with the White House, he'd argued in his 1996 paper for a business which put people over profit maximisation.,It concluded::

'There is nothing wrong with individuals becoming wealthy. It is only when wealth begins to concentrate in the hands of a relative few at the expense of billions of others who are denied even a small share of finite wealth that trouble starts and physical, human suffering begins. It does not have to be this way. Massive greed and consequent massive human misery and suffering do not have to be accepted as a givens, unavoidable, intractable, irresolvable. Just changing the way business is done, if only by a few companies, can change the flow of wealth, ease and eliminate poverty, and leave us all with something better to worry about. Basic human needs such as food and shelter are fundamental human rights; there are more than enough resources available to go around--if we can just figure out how to share. It cannot be "Me first, mine first"; rather, "Me, too" is more the order of the day.'

It was't passion he  argued for.

“Substitute personal greed with compassion, and the balance sheets will still work out just fine. Profit/loss statements take on a whole new dimension and meaning. Greed and capitalism are not one and the same thing. “Social” capitalism, social enterprise, is perfectly doable. This is the most effective sustainable strategy available for alleviating widespread human suffering stemming from poverty and all that comes with it — up to and including terrorism.”

It was a crisis in Russia which offered the opportunty to put it into practice. The result was the Tomsk Regional initiative which he described in an interview in 2004, the year we introduced this business to the UK

it was just before his death in 2011 that I learned something about this project I'd not know before, when he called out one of our customers the British Council on the hijack of our 'Marshall Plan' proposal. . He describes how his work in Tomsk was preceded by that of  Deloitte who according to locals had exhausted all the project funding on their own expenses.

"My first reaction to PwC's entry was concern that the project would be like a USAID/Deloitte Touche project run in Tomsk circa 1997-8.  That program was to set up a microfinance program in Tomsk.  The project ran similarly to the current social enterprise effort has started in Ukraine with BC replacing USAID, and EEF as USAID's representative via a new UK office.  Local personnel were hired and trained, the first crop of loan recipients went through a business orientation program, and the program ended.  That was due to no money available beyond that stage.  According to Tomsk locals, Deloitte Touche absorbed most of the funding in consulting fees.  I see that PwC is volunteering time and expertise to the Ukraine SE project, which is significantly different than DT's function in Tomsk.  Tomsk finally got their microfinance bank with a few million dollars in seed funding through USAID, in 1999 after I visited with and studied the community, and proposed a real operational program to the US White House.  I charged nothing and demanded no credit for that effort, as my main interest at that time was thousands of people who needed a hand up ASAP and finding out if the project would work.   It did.  It was further replicated in the Republic of Georgia in 2003."

it was ironic because as another customer for our Meeting Point software in Dublin, Deloitte in a small way had been contributing to our operations in Ukraine where the primary focus was placing abused and disabled children in loving family homes 

I remember a former colleague who asked in a presentation - What's a consultant?

"A consultant is someone who walks in your office, mugs you and leaves behind a report recommending that you're mugged by their 3 closest friends"

I seem to have walked into Deloitte's office and let them help themselves to our business model  3 years ago they launched the Social Innovation Pioneers initiative and by the look of it, Pioneers are quite a lot like us.. That's not surprising, having described it in our own application. As I recall, they said it wasn't scalable.

The message comes across clearly - Don't help the vulnerable and voiceless, help enhance your corporate image whatever the cost.