Entrepreneurs without money XXVIII: El Salvador possible entrepreneurship journey with China: Ethical Context (part A).
Have a beautiful autumn week. As you may know, I am deeply in love with the autumn season. Maybe I reflect a bit more before writing. Probably this happens because of the weather. So sorry about it. But to write in “simple words” about economic turbulent decision making is not easy. The purpose of this blog is to give you insights and learning lessons which have taken me a lifetime, and to adapt the business buzzword to “simple terms” or metaphors is quite a challenge. Sometimes I can do it. Sometimes I try to do it. And when it is raining, my thoughts are more reflective than usual. It has been raining in town because of the tropical storm Michael in the Atlantic Ocean.
Let´s start: During the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, I dedicated one leg to provide some general acumens as an introduction to the theme of Integrity and Ethical Upheaval. Leg 11 from Gothenburg to The Hague was full explanatory. I won´t repeat it this time. Please visit the following links in this blog. This will help you to remember about all of what is said and written in terms of the ethical context and why it is so crucial to include it in our endeavors. Regardless of the type of project, or if it is China, Brazil, USA or Australia the country of with whom El Salvador is establishing new commercial relations. Please click the following links and read them:
Moreover, previous to Leg 11, when we were staying in Newport, I also included ethics in the education model. Read the publication about the summary and conclusions of the topic Strategic Innovation:
China has been investing years and years of their efforts to the STEM education model. But we must go a step forward the Chinese. Our education should be ESTEAM (we have to aggregate an E of Ethics and an A of Arts):
Ethics, Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Let´s try to understand the Ethical Context of the Entrepreneurial Contextual Analysis with a personal story. The story of my Grandpa Maximilian. Since I was a child, my late grandfather Maximilian lived with us. He was one of the greatest granddaddies on earth. I have precious memories about him. He was an artist with the wood. He knew the delicacy of working with wood from the forests to make beautiful pieces of art. For some, he was a simple cabinetmaker. But for me, he was a wood artist, a curator of fine pieces of wood art. Grandpa Maximilian defined himself as a traditional person who had the job to work hard and patiently with fine woods in order to build quality furniture. We were raised with the wood sawing brush and chisels sounds coming from our Grandpa atelier, which was always located in the backyard. Grandpa Maximilian taught us his own interpretation of the theory of colors applied to wood. He also taught us “there were multiple types of wood that differ greatly in terms of appearance, color, density, strength, ease of processing, cost, etc”… He knew by heart which type of tree had the best degree of hardness or softness, the quality of its veins, and how to mix pigments, colors, and natural varnishes to extract the best look. His favorite trees were of several species, but I remember him working with mahogany, cedar of Lebanon, cherry wood, olive ash, chestnut, Indian Laurel, Kingwood, rosewood, yew, English oak, etc. (many of these woods were imported from foreign lands and it was hard for him to find them here). My grandpa Maximilian worked with awe. He took the time to observe the wood blocks, he was used to getting acquainted with the unique qualities of each piece of wood before cutting or sawing it. His patience was beyond anything you could imagine. Grandpa Maximilian loved to touch the wood as gold, to find the degree of hardness, the humidity, the level of temperature (cold-warm traces), and he loved to observe how the wood colors changed from one day to another one. He said to me that wood was always alive.
My Grandpa Maximilian had one defect, or immaturely we thought it was a deficiency. With time we observed he was slow in his manufacturing processes… slower in his job creations. He couldn´t fulfill the deadlines. Let´s say if he has a client, he always extended his deadlines at least 4 to 5 times compared with what other carpenters offered to finish the same piece of furniture. Even taking extended lag times, he couldn´t finish at the initial pre-established deadline. He was always delayed. It took him at least a week or two weeks, sometimes many additional months to finish. And he was not procrastinating. He was always working. Inside my Grandpa imagination, his purpose was to get the perfection of the life of the tree out of the piece of wood. His purpose was not to get the paycheck from the client. Grandpa Maximilian was looking to create natural beauty from the wood texture, to expose the warmth and soothing feeling of the piece when the client will touch the wooden part of that hand-carved furniture, to carve the extract of the life history of the tree in that beautiful epic piece of art. Grandpa Maximilian was committed to offering over the top quality of results, to the point that it was impossible to the clients to be mad with him when he delivered the products (even if it took him many months after the initial deadline). They knew the hand-carved furniture with its details will be unique, perfect and no other furniture manufacturer would ever compare to his.
Grandpa Maximilian wasn´t an ethical person by many (he never accomplished the deadlines), but for me, he was being the most ethical wood artists of all. He never delivered mediocrity. I saw my grandpa, many times starting his work all over again because he knew it wasn´t as he wished (either the cut, or the sawing was not well done, or the colors were not as he expected them to be, or the wood was not perfectly curated, or the pieces veins did not match when gluing them). We saw its artist work with so much gentleness and delicacy for the tree… For me, he was more ethical than many of us who are just rushing to deliver. His job was more ethical than many of us who are running to deliver mediocre reports, mediocre products-services, ordinary analysis, so-so copycat results, unexceptional solutions, or second-rate quality deliverables, and what is worst, mediocre technological explanations or devices for the incorrect purposes.
I wished to use the story of Grandpa Maximilian because I believe we have lost the artist-craftiest values in our intent to evolve, particularly with information technologies. My Grandpa had the value of ethical responsibility at the top level with “the wood”. Craftiest ethical people are patient, he knew that it was going to take him a long time to bring out the best of the wood in a piece of furniture. In addition, it took him a lifetime to acquire his skills and to apply them (his skills took him more than 50 years to be developed), and this was going to be true with others too. He also knew young people rarely care about these things. Bad pieces of furniture made by youngest carpenters were taken to his atelier to be repaired. In addition, Grandpa Maximilian had no judgment in relation to wood. He knew wood is a living creature, and his work was a reverence for the tree which was cut to become a piece of furniture. Once he started to work, his responsibility with preserving this wood unique own identity, in the midst of changing it into a hand-carved furniture, was a difficult process. It was not easy, but he loved his work. He never quitted. He knew it was going to take him a truly immense amount of weeks, or years to create a stunning hand-carved furniture piece of art. He knew it was going to be a difficult process, but his end results were undeniably breathtaking. Grandpa Maximilian was working to create awe in each of his items of hand-carved furnitures. Awe was his motto. Ethical awe.
I wonder if El Salvador possible entrepreneurship journey of commercial relations with China is ethically designed with awe?
Thank you. To be continued…
Source References which inspired me to write this article:
Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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