I was at a presentation the other day when the speaker stopped me dead in my tracks when she said, simply, that ‘the ends don’t ever justify the means’.
She was talking about Commonwork, a study centre and organic farm in Kent which is working towards sustainable solutions in farming, the environment and education (http://www.commonwork.org/) but for me the words resonated across all the work that I do – the things I write, the events I stage, the projects I manage.
My background is in the performing arts, where a very different motto often pulls people through: ‘it’ll be all right on the night’. This leads to a very different sense that whatever you do, whatever short cuts you take, you’ll be ok providing no one can see them between the curtain opening and falling.
But it’s not true.
If you believe in equality – then all your processes as well as your products have to be underpinned by this believe. If you value diversity – then every aspect of everything you do has to be embued with this value too.
Short cuts only ever bring temporary respite. Far cleaner, clearer and more potent to ensure that things are done the way they should be done throughout.