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  • Writer's pictureSimon Nash

There's Methodology In Our Madness

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

This report was commissioned in early 2021, while the global pandemic was still raging and Jersey was in a period of lockdown. The Jersey Good Business Charter had cancelled the majority of its 2020 events programme and was facing a further period of uncertain length without being able to come together in person as a community.

That said, the pandemic was also a period of member businesses of putting their ethical aspirations into practice, under some of the most pressing circumstances, to deal with issues of safety, fairness and community support, during unprecedented uncertainties. Some of the inspiring stories of how member businesses put people, planet, community, customers and suppliers first will feature in further events and publications. The way the whole Jersey community; business, government and third sector pulled through is a testament to the reserves of ethical intent that have been built up in a small island community during times of plenty that helped see us through a time of exiguity.

The Governors of the Jersey Good Business Charter commissioned this report, as a contribution to the Island’s widely held intention to “Build Back Better”. The report was written in the shadow of a global viral crisis, but the intention was not to write a report that simply stood at a narrow point in time as a direct review of the pandemic and its aftermath. Instead the Governors wanted a report that had a broader remit, to look at the whole of the way business was practiced in Jersey, and to look further ahead than merely the recovery from conditions of lockdown.

A number of business sponsors, including both members holding the charter mark and businesses which had not started their assessment process for membership were keen to support the work, both with financial underwriting and by providing thought leadership from their own story and their expertise.

The research had three principal components. First, an electronic survey was published and promoted, attracting responses from 26 different industry sectors, and a broad range of business owners, directors, managers and employees. Second, a series of in-depth interviews were conducted (by Zoom) with both volunteer participants of the electronic survey and invited leaders of key Jersey businesses. We are very grateful to people who engaged with the survey and to our interviewees for their time. Third, the business ethics consultancy ValueMetrix was engaged to provide expert in-depth and commentary from their experience of working with Jersey businesses and of engaging with the issues of sustainability and ethical transformation in the global literature. A number of academic and industry experts from ValueMetrix’ global network of experts were also approached for thought-pieces related to the findings of the research, for which we again express our gratitude.

But this report is not just another bundle of research, essays and case studies. The intellectual content is important, obviously, but to create real and lasting impact we know that the work has to appeal to the heart as well as the head. Or to put it another way, as human beings we need wisdom and inspiration as well as facts and theories. We are grateful to Unfold Media for the creative treatment that you see in front of you and to local artist Martha MacDonald for the original poetry that is interspersed among the graphs and articles.

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