One hundred years ago, when most of us waited months for our food to grow, and spent weeks building an annex to our home, and took days to to sew our clothes, we better understood the power of daily effort over long periods of time.
Today, so much can be done faster – or by others while we spend our time doing other things – that we often dismiss ideas that can’t produce results quickly. We don’t take pleasure in the grind like we used to, so our pleasure with the results has diminished. When we used to sit on the porch every evening looking at the crop fields, our bread tasted much better in the morning.
Recent social science studies have discovered better ways to write our policies, train our employees, communicate our ideas, and create ethical cultures. While many of these ideas leverage new technologies, they don’t promise immediate results. They ask that we take steps in a new direction, day after day, and exercise patience. Results will come in a few years, perhaps in a few months if we are lucky.
Ethical organizations need a good program and a good culture. Elements of a good program can be implemented quickly but a good culture requires grit and grind.
It’s time we re-learn the pleasure of admiring our day’s work, even if we only created potential.