Antonia Gentile, Contributing Editor at DWDG
‘The problem with you is that you always want to have your cake and eat it’ is a phrase that my parents would fire at me from time to time.
Then later in life as I was struggling along in the early phases of building a home and bringing up a family it was the old classic ‘We can’t afford to change the kitchen and have a holiday this summer’.
And having become established in my early career, and having found a way to pay the bills with a bit extra on top, in my 1:1’s with my (excellent I must say) Manager in the corporate world it was ‘You have got to accept that you can’t change the world and just need to focus on doing this job the best you can’
The ‘Either – Or’ dilemma is one that we all face continually in our lives but inspired by working with creative and entrepreneurial thinkers is one that I have learnt that we frequently do not have to accept. We have the choice to work on the breakthrough thinking that turns ‘Either – Or’ to ‘Both’, evaporating the apparent conflict in any given situation and often leading to really exciting resolutions.
For me the best examples of this come from environments where there is often the greatest challenge. One of the most famous being how the microfinance organisation and community development bank Grameen managed to overcome the ‘You cant run a bank that loans to impoverished communities without collateral’ with their microcredit model. Subsequently this then led on to facilitating wealth creation for these communities through the application of this model in technology in retail, farming and other sectors.
Outside of that we have Patagonia, the clothing business, that states it’s aim is to use the resources they have; their voice, their business and their community, to do something about our climate crisis. ‘You cant have a clothing manufacturing business and work on saving the environment’….oh you better think again.
And there are a host of other great examples. Of course non of them are perfect and free of criticism but at this point it is the intent and purpose that I am referring to as being inspirational.
Which leads on to Doing Well and Doing Good. After all our business is called DWDG for a reason! At our inception, yes we did get a load of feedback stating; cant you find a way to make it three letters as four is a bit cumbersome.
Inspired by the above and other examples, our purpose is simply to live this mantra and bring it to life to the best extent that we can through every transaction that we undertake. We want to be part of BOTH Doing Well to the greatest extent we can through enabling businesses to achieve an outcome. AND at the same time Doing Good to the greatest extent that we can by enabling underserved communities improve. This is though how we invest our resources in terms of time and money.
We are by no means perfect in bringing this model to life, but living a life working on BOTH as opposed to an Either Or feels like a great way.