What does 'Doo Good'​ mean?

What does it mean to 'do good' in this day and age? This article explains our thoughts behind what qualifies a business and a few new perspectives on how good impacts our business practices for a better future all over.

April 3, 2022

We have a collective strategy at dooka, and it’s something we use as a yardstick to measure all of the projects we undertake. We unofficially dubbed this strategy ‘do good’, and used in a sentence, it would sound something like, ‘yeah the project sounds fun, but how does it ‘do good?’’ if you catch my drift. We like all of the projects we complete to add something to the world and be something that positively contributes to peoples lives. However this is sometimes more challenging to isolate.  

Due to the subjectivity of the idea of what it means to ‘do good’, we would spend time pontificating and arguing for and against why something may or may not fulfil the true intention of ‘do good’. An extreme example to illustrate the point is; weapons manufacturers. By nature they are destructive, but can conceptually be considered protective. In the subjective wrong hands, they are a threat. In the subjective right hands, they are a necessity in protecting the ideologies associated with the ‘good’ side.

We found this dichotomy interesting, and the numerous rabbit holes that were opened during these conversations only spurred us on to pontificate some more.

As a result of this, we decided to look outwards, and ask the question publicly. What does “do good” mean to you? Do overarching themes differ based on location, age, gender? Unsurprisingly, the results have been both reassuring and challenging to our previously internal dialogues. Below are some of our favourite takes from individuals and businesses that have contributed to the debate;

"True good needs to elevate the human experience in some way and done ethically, end to end."
" ‘Do good’, to me, means having a positive impact on yourself and those around you, whether that be physically, mentally, economically, spiritually etc."
"Making what you deem to be the right decision at the time to better impact you and the world collectively."
"Purpose over profit"
"There is a difference between, ‘looking good’ and ‘doing good’ and furthermore to actually ‘being good’. You can be good but not actively do good, and you can also look good without doing or being good which seems to be the general public's concern when corporations talk a good game."
"Doing good means giving and asking for nothing in return."

Overall, there was an overwhelming sense that doing good stood for contributing to the idea of a positive impact. Partly implicit, but also hard to measure tangibly, given the fact that a positive direction for a business might result in some negative side effects. Take for example the introduction of electric vehicles. Of course we must move away from fossil fuels, but how are EV batteries made? And at what cost do they come?

It is, however, a step in the right direction. Perhaps even a leap. And this attaches to the concept of ‘elevating the human experience’. If we can progress to a *more* sustainable future, we should. However, it is key to always try and see the full picture.

Which leads us nicely to corporate responsibilities part in all of this. Corporations have vast resources, which allow them to make a dramatic impact to ‘doing good’ through correct allocation. Their scale can mean it may be cumbersome to make instant change, but progress is progress. The concern here is to what is the actual intention. Is it to simply look good, or actually be good? Or even further - to actively do good?

The concern is that positive business initiatives can in place to progress the human experience, or they can there for positive PR to boost portfolio value and shareholder satisfaction. This raises the point, and one of our favourite takes of the study - purpose over profit. If decisions are made through the lense of genuinely creating a more sustainable future, both for our planet and the people on it, then it must be considered to be doing good.

And this can come in various forms. From a C-Suite level business sense it can be achieved through changing practices in production and operations to lessen a businesses impact on the world. From a personal/employee point of view, it could be through introducing initiatives to build a creative working culture for the staff that are responsible for fulfilling these changes on a day-to-day basis.

The core of all of these principles is; action must be genuine. So long as protocols are introduced in order to effectively make things better than they were before it must be encouraged and championed, along with the acknowledgement that this won’t happen overnight, and ultimately, humans are human.

Businesses must be equal parts innovative, compassionate, responsible and realistic, and this melting pot of qualities can help to define industry practice and also public perception - resulting in progress.

Through this process our initial hypothesis has been proven; That there is no right answer to what it means to ‘do good’. But what we have realised is that that perhaps isn’t the question after all. The question should be more, ‘how much good are you doing?’ And through hard work and commitment to authentically creating a better future for the individuals, a business can be considered as a ‘do good’ business. In our opinion, anyway.

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