The Heart of our Business
As an MBA working for both private and public sector businesses over the past 20 + years, I have drafted, analyzed, proofed, organized, audited, dismantled, and submitted a myriad of paperwork. As one can imagine, business communications range from the mundane emails and letters, to sensitive communications, to large scale works of art ñ in the form of reports, applications, and the like. Although paper work processing is necessary to the pulse and the operations of any business, it doesnít always translate to the career fulfillment of an individual or to the heart of the business.
My standard reply to the, ìwhat do you do for a livingî question is, ìI work for an environmental consulting firm,î which typically elicits the response of glazed eyes and the follow up question of, ìand what do you do there?î The answer to this question has a much broader range of possibilities ñ from the definitional elevator pitch on what environmental consulting is, to what types of paperwork that I produce. Neither speak to the heart of what we do.
Just recently I was given an opportunity to break out of the office to experience a cross-training site visit. While standing in the middle of a Virginia agricultural field – surrounded by sunshine, woods, and massive amounts of cotton, I contemplated yet again the question of, what do we do ñ what exactly is the heart of our business?
In a nutshell, we develop relationships by collaborating with individuals, businesses, city government, and regulatory agencies in order to improve communities while preserving the environment. Our work efforts include a whole host of activities from examining soil samples and foliage, to acquiring permits for development and transportation projects, developing informational reports, and advising clients on the best courses of action for achieving success. However, the true end goal ñ and the very heart of our business – is to improve communities and the lives of those who live and work in them. Whether the improvement results in better roads and bridges, new homes and shopping options, or the preservation of wetlands, our work produces a visible outcome that our whole team can be proud of, and that greatly supersedes the paperwork it took to make it happen.