Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head

Should we welcome multinational companies’ involvement in programmes to improve child health?

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3046 (Published 17 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3046

Rapid Response:

Re: Should we welcome multinational companies’ involvement in programmes to improve child health?

Nick Spence can afford to retain his principled views. He doesn’t have a child suffering from diarrhoea with no prospect of available, effective treatment. Without intending to appear disrespectful, I think he needs to 'get real'.

While I don't condone everything that multi-nationals do, I personally have to be pragmatic - and so do we all. If we were to exclude trading/dealing with businesses that had questionable or, in our opinion, undesirable traits our economies (personal and macro) would founder. We need to work with others to further our own ends (in ColaLife’s case, saving the lives of children) and, in doing so, demonstrate that there are alternative/better ways to do business together and to live together.

We need to nudge the system forward rather than excluding ourselves from it. When we do the latter we simply lose the potential benefits of collaboration and (perhaps most importantly in the long-term) lose the opportunity to influence the system, to change it for the better.

So Nick, why not join ColaLife ‘inside the tent’ and, while saving children's lives, work from there to bring about change. In my experience, working from the inside with the insights that provides is a far more effective way to achieve sustainable shifts in individual and organisational behaviour.

Go on, give it a try!

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 June 2015
Colin C Wilson
Business Performance Coach
None
Chesham, Bucks