The CALL Blog

When compassion is profitable

Brandreth Canaley
| Aug 11, 2016

In his 2010 TED Talk at the UN, Chade-Meng Tan talks about compassion and its positive influence on the tech giant, Google. Tan explains that many of Google’s social responsibility initiatives are grown from the bottom up, often starting with as few as 3 employees. He proudly shares that initiatives adopted by Google are not part of a corporate strategy as a way to appear more socially conscious.  Rather, socially responsible initiatives are grassroots movement started by compassionate employees.


CompassionCompassion, as it turns out, is good for business.  Compassionate engagement with socially responsible initiatives leads to employees’ happiness though the good work that they do.  Compassionate associates are eager to collaborate and create a sense of community. When employees are happy to come to work and tackle big problems together, the whole company benefits.


Compassion also helps to foster effective global business leaders.

 As CS Lewis said “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”   This quote shows the link between humility and empathy for others, which create the foundation of compassion.  Research has shown that culturally agile professionals possess high levels of humility and are able to see situations through multiple perspectives and understand the limits of their skills and abilities in an unfamiliar context.  Humility builds trust and fosters relationships when professionals are working in different countries and with people from different cultures. 

Encouraging an atmosphere of compassion within your organization will not only improve employee morale and productivity, but it will also foster global leadership effectiveness.  Compassion is good for business and can help firms with the future in this increasingly complex and globally interconnected world.