Chris Evatt - Entrepreneur, Business Mentor and Assister of Non-Government Organisations

Interviewed by Tim LynchMarch 19, 2014
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If you think that we can wrestle back localised business interests, into the NZ communities hands - listen to this interview, based on Scandinavian and especially Finnish practices.

One of the most salient pointers that Chris also articulates is to bring all the leaders of NGO’s together so that they can learn from each other. Note that motivated volunteers are the best people to bring about positive change.

Where there is an emotional engagement in doing something really good there is an 86% faster growth than in a business that only caters for the bottom line, plus their margins are also on average 23% more ... because people are willing to pay more for better value and service etc. Net profits are 21% more also.

Learn how localised generated merchandise is innovatively produced and sold by the community that keeps profits in that local community and the common wealth of their country, and not leak out via overseas corporates taking their hard earned cash off shore!

NOTE: Because the Finns are not an English speaking country per se, the Americanisation or the Anglifying of them, via the medium of the English language is not as persuasive as in for example the 5 Eyes Countries where English is the common language ... . Hence the Scandinavians have their own individual language as well as English as a bridging language and as a Scandinavian group, they have been able to retain their identity, as countries working towards a social commitment to their peoples group welfare. … Food for thought.

Chris talks of his Finland experience and how Finland is so very unique.

  • The climate brings them together to co-operate and share or die
  • The Finns came together to pay huge war reparations to Russia
  • They understand how to: Work together and build Co operatives
  • 80% of food retailed within Finland is run by just two cooperatives - K Group and S Group

Special discounts given where 5% discount is automatically transferred to their bank account and the other business participants received a coupon, which they can redeem. (a very similar system.)

Co-ops are part of the Finnish psyche and its just part of how they do business.

The Finns first and prime focus is the development of people ‘that is their number one priority’.

The taxes in Finland are high, however this enables them to have the state cover them for a huge number of welfare contingencies. This is inbuilt into the whole fabric of Finland and it has worked exceptionally well = proof is in the pudding

Finland is 'top in the world in technology and its uses' plus educational standards. The PISA Std - free education including university. Plus health, hospitals and emergency dental work, and accommodation allowances, if you are living away from home.

Small family companies have become international giants Nokia was, Koni which makes lifts and escalators plus UPM a very large paper producer.

When the population is coherent and working for the benefit of the whole (one another) the country can move ahead.

Chris learnt whilst mentoring family businesses, that they are passed on from generation to generation and 'their success was based on family values being brought into their organisation.’

Aim is to do good for the organisation and then doing good for the customers and being honourable and acting in integrity with all the other stake holders, they say its not about the money ... the first priority is creating value for all of those around them, which is an underlying value or set of values, all within a context of also being very disciplined.

As a result they are profitable too, which they then put back into their companies. They don't as a rule take out from their companies. They live a good life, and what they aim to do is pass on a good business, to their children.

Today in NZ the present ideology driving economics places the pursuit of money before everything else. Leading to exploitation and a desire to maximise returns for oneself. Often at the expense of the environment and in NZ's case at the expense of our high standard of living that we once collectively enjoyed when we were working together as one nation.

And if we follow this model, the chances are that we will follow the American model which is leading to bankruptcy. Economics is important however business has to serve human nature as well. It has to be the servant and not the master, but we have put these in the wrong order, resulting in an unbalanced society that ultimately falls apart.

With NZ farmers having an average age of 63 years old, and his children not wanting to take over the 24/7 interest of the farm, we have multi national corporations circling like buzzards ready to buy up a huge number of kiwi farms. A huge loss because corporates have no inherent interest in the community, and farming is just another cash cow to be exploited.

There is another way, and if NZ can cherry pick and integrate the more innovative and elegant methods from Finland and Scandinavia as a whole, it could turn our whole country around and we become a model of sustainability that could be the envy of the world.

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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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