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Friday, December 16, 2011

Noise and Interference in Effecting Goodwill

Luke 2:8-14 (KJ 2000)
Announcement to Shepherds

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were much afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (emphasis mine).

In human affairs, nothing is truer than that goodwill is not reciprocated unless specific conditions exist.  Take the goodwill from customers coveted by a company.  Several conditions are necessary:

·         The customer pool has a capacity for goodwill arising from its recognition of outstanding service.  Extant in the customers must be a generous spirit that is congruent with the development goodwill.
·          The customers through cynicism do not foreclose the possibility of goodwill.
·            Some sort of transaction with or exposure to the company takes place.
·        The company itself keeps as a priority the creation and maintenance of customer goodwill.        In short, the company must itself demonstrate goodwill.
·           Development of a corporate culture in which conditions for goodwill are met by most employees most of the time.
·           An appreciation on the part of the company of the practical value of abstract, hard to precisely quantify assets.
·       The ability of the company and customer to take risks in relationships.  Even after lawyers hammer down a 30 page contract, it remains a plain fact that spirit not legalize seals deals.
·          Efforts to track customer satisfaction after a transaction.
·           The absence of the noise and interference of religious, racial, class, institutional, etc. prejudices and discrimination.  The anger of resentment destroys goodwill.
·            A commitment to the hard disciplines of tough love—it’s performance that counts.
·        A tolerance for acceptable imperfection.  An understanding that sometimes situational factors can intervene to make performance less than ideal.  In these situations, one must be willing to empathize if goodwill is to be maintained.
·          An absence of spin and a rich supply of information foster goodwill.
·           Adequate resources on both sides are required to maintain a good business relationship.
·           An appreciation of time and space requirements is necessary.
·           An attitude of mutuality during transactions.

The angels at Jesus’ birth declared “good will toward men.”  Since the customer pool in this case was all humanity, it is clear that complete mutuality in this relationship was hampered by the nature of the customer pool.  For some, reciprocal goodwill was and remains simply beyond comprehension—a mystery not worth the effort to puzzle out. 

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