Lately I have been considering expectations. What is it exactly we expect from businesses, charities, and communities? Do we expect them to be perfect? Do we expect them to do things differently or better than we would do them ourselves? Or, do we just expect them to do the right thing?

I fully (and sometimes shamefully) realize I’m not perfect, and I shouldn’t expect that from others. But, I do believe I’m a good person that tries to do right by others and to do the best job I can, everyday. And, yes, I do expect that from the professional entities with which I engage. Is that asking too much?

There was a great equalizer in the realm of customer service in recent years with the prevalence of ratings & reviews as well as social networks as platforms to promote or condemn. And in my hometown of Austin, TX, there has been a lot of recent emphasis placed on local and environmentally sustainable business practices (which I applaud). What I want to know, is when will it be expected that every business and nonprofit is measured on not only their products/service, and their responsiveness to the customer, but also on their societal and environmental impact, and more importantly their ethics? When will it be cool to be a good guy that people feel good about doing business with? And the inevitable next question, how will that be monetized?

Several apps (including Good Guide, Guidestar, and the recent Social Impact) are trying to make headway, but it is still soloed, and not part of mainstream decision-making. In order to create real change it seems we need a ‘Good Guy’ meter to be on the same level as how expensive it is and whether or not they accept reservations. Until then, I’ll keep making tick marks in my head about my feeling towards these companies, and hope that someday people will care about my imaginary scoreboard.

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