Bring Back The “Human” In All Of Us

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WE live life doing repetitive tasks, habitual actions and routine activities. We have become engrossed with the “usual” that we have forgotten to observe our surroundings, more so oneself.

Let us review the following scenarios in the context and setting of Malaysia:

The Gig Economy Worker

Zips through roads, jumps several red lights, drives on the pedestrian crossing and even in the opposite direction of oncoming traffic with a “me first” attitude.

The Corporate Executive

Striving to increase income for oneself. Highly competitive and performance driven geared towards competition rather than collaboration.

The Government Officer

Undertake tasks to merely achieve KPIs. Fixated on rules and SOPs with little room for consideration. Utilizes position to speed up approvals in return for incentives.

The Politician

Works hard to serve the nation. Practices blatant cronyism by awarding government projects to “inner circle” and enriches oneself along the way.

THE above are not actual but probable scenarios that unfold in today’s society. What is worrying is that these scenarios or “people” share the same denominator but what is it? It’s time to ask ourselves, where have we gone wrong or better yet, is there anything wrong?

Are there insufficient rules and laws to govern us? Or perhaps such rules and laws need to be stricter? Maybe it is a compliance issue? Should we enforce better standards and practices?

If left untreated, this deeply rooted problem can mushroom and manifest into a crisis of grandiose scale. Imagine if organisations and businesses follow the same principles. Now, try and recall headlines in the news? Similar nuances? Yes – because it has already happened.

We have seen corporations around the world doing so much wrong in the interest of maximising profit. Communities, shareholders, employees have fallen victim to greedy, selfish executives as exemplified in many scandals that had left their marks in the infamous list of corporate misdeeds such as Enron, Northern Rock and our very own 1MDB to name a few.

Even the financial crisis of 2008 stems from such greedy culture something abhorrent in traditional societies but it is now rooted and continuously persisted over a period of time, became “normalised” and regarded as a positive value that deserves to be cherished and admired in modern day business, of which the line that distinguishes greed and success has become blurrier each day.

Recognizing this divergence, there must be a paradigm shift in how we view governance, from the outer-in “corporate governance” to the inner-out of “human governance”. Human governance captures and respects the essence of the human spirit, celebrating our unique belief systems and values that shape our internal constitutions. It transcends such boundaries because it holds true to the fact that humans are the drivers of society regardless of fields or subject areas.

The implementation of human governance by policymakers, government agencies, and other national institutions could create the potential for an undivided nation that has robust morality, integrity, and accountability at its core. With the current economy, political and health crisis, perhaps it is deemed fit to ask ourselves, what does it mean to be human?

Sources:

https://www.swinburne.edu.my/campus-beyond/human-governance-a-new-paradigm-for-sustainability.php

https://www.mia.org.my/v2/downloads/resources/publications/human/2015/11/16/MIA_Human_Governance_Bringing_the_Meaning_of_Integrity_in_the_Life_of_Professional_Accountants.pdf

https://www.themalaysianreserve.com/2017/04/03/human-governance-between-a-human-being-and-being-a-human

Photo: One Dimensional Man

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