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Quakers and Business Group
Promoting Quaker values in Business and the Workplace

Eoin McCarthy

Eoin McCarthy

One Quaker’s journey to joyful work

How my values affect how I run my business, or carry out my work:

Working as a business and leadership coach, initially, there was not much difference, but as I spent more time with other Q&B members who are in business, I became more aware of the ethics and corporate reputation of my clients. After about two years, this led me to change the way I promoted my services so that I worked more often with people with some time for ethical considerations and who had concern for the impact on others of the work that they did. Later on, I began to take opportunities to raise issues of business ethics directly with my clients as part of my service. When I did, this was always appreciated. I then found that, in the normal course of our work, they in turn started to raise ethical concerns with me.

Listening over time to what clients spoke about, I found many of them were concerned at the conduct of their peers and superiors, generally, not just on “ethical” issues. It appeared to me that many of them were struggling, either with what the right thing to do could be, or, struggling with the complexity of the work they were supposed to be leading.

How this had an influence on the decisions I made:

From my experience of attending Management Committee Meetings at Q&B and at Quaker Meetings for Worship for Business in my Area Meeting, I knew that the Quaker Business Method is a reliable and highly efficient way to conduct the business of meetings, and to make and take decisions. In 2010, I started to reflect on how the benefits of the Quaker Business Method could be enjoyed more widely. This led me into an investigation of group decision-making as a process, an examination of the ways it can go wrong, and the tools that we have to bring to bear to improve group decision-making performance.

Five years on there is now Decision Trust, a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee and fourteen trained associates. We have value propositions to support decision-making groups, in all of the ways we can think of, that they might find helpful. Although it is still early days, feedback is good.