Beauty and Savings Groups
Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8:42AM
Paul Rippey

I saw this Savings Group (formed by Cadecom) in Mchinji Distric in Malawi earlier this week. It was a high performing group by almost any measure - and I’d like to talk about some measures that we don’t usually use.

I thought there was something elegant and beautiful about the group. Not only did they take the time to seat themselves in an almost perfect circle, but they were in lovely uniforms that they had bought from their savings, every one spotlessly clean and pressed. They just looked great.

For me, elegance and beauty are ends in themselves. So are service and integrity. So are music and art. Do you ever get tired of the non-stop conversations about business plans, return on investment, incentive systems, and so on? I do - there’s something going on with this group, and many others, that simply aren’t measured in the MIS, or in the profit to some bank, or whatever other financial measure people use to guage success.

Just like the Portland Building in Today’s Revolutionary (at left), some things have value for reasons that aren’t easily measured by economists. 

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