Do we develop standards and certification to change the world?
This may seem a bit grandiose, but to some degree it must be true. Social and environmental standards have been driven by individuals and groups that want to save natural ecosystems, preserve endangered species, make the lives of workers and small producers better, make trade fair, save indigenous cultures, protect the oceans, save the forest….well you get the picture.
To create an international standard and go to the trouble of turning it into a global enterprise requires dedication, hard work and a belief that we can make change happen, even reform an entire industry sector.
While this undying belief that we can effect change must be present, it should be tempered with humility.
By humility, I mean a sense that a much as we believe in what we are doing we must also be aware that we may make mistakes. These mistakes can help us to realize that there are better ways to do our work and make the difference we are driven to deliver.
That is, errors CAN help us - but they may not if we do not have the humility to recognize that our system is not flawless and that we can change the way we work.
To be blunt, errors to not happen just because of the failure of others.
We should be looking at our own work with an eye to seeing our own weakness and failures. More than that, we should be looking to make changes, even hard changes, to better deliver on our objectives.