I recently read Sir Richard Branson’s new book Screw Business as Usual. The book is about a form of capitalism based on the (old) concept of corporate social responsibility. Sir Richard takes it to a new level and calls it Capitalism 24902 (the circumference of the earth is 24,902 miles). This new model for business focuses on putting people and the planet first, and that giving away expertise and opportunity (not just money) to people/groups in need is good for business. In the book he quotes Wafic Saïd (a benefactor of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University) who says “The companies that focus most on profit are not necessarily the most profitable companies.”
The book prompted me to reflect on my experience with presentation design; specifically some of my consulting experiences and what my goals are for the future. I have been fortunate to have had a number of opportunities to work with other people on presentations, and many of the ones which stand out are the ones where I was able to donate my services. I have supported university students as they prepared their professional presentations, assisted a radiological technologist share her story of working in the multi-national medical unit in Afghanistan, and designed an informative/persuasive presentation for a cat rescue group seeking political support. These experiences are mutually beneficial; while it is helpful to the recipient(s) of the service, it also gives me a fresh perspective. Designing presentations outside of my regular sales/marketing world allows me to expand my creativity and develop my skills… which then in turn impacts my professional life.
In addition to further developing your skills, volunteering and working with non-profit groups is also very rewarding on a personal level. I highly recommend sharing any expertise you have with a person or group(s) who can benefit from them. We all need to take Sir Richard’s advice and put people and the planet first. This is my first post of 2012; my goal (resolution) for this year is to offer my services in presentation design to as many non-profit groups/people as I can.
So if you know of someone who may need a little help with an upcoming “not for profit” presentation, keep me in mind.
Refuse to be boring