Behind Doing Business : Our Credo
There are several layers behind the way staff and participants in Rural System work or do business. No one is told what to believe or think or what attitudes to hold but we like to communicate our intent and direction as well as the merging of those layers for our staff as well as customers.
We have a credo, a code of conduct that landowners and citizens can expect from staff working with all aspects of Rural System. It attempts to express, even in a limited way, what we stand for and believe in, and how we operate and address public, client, and personal concerns. We try to extend our limits and correct quickly our failures in living and working to this creed.
We do not hide that we are profit oriented but we hold that longterm bounded profit, a key phrase, is an index to how well we are improving and sustaining the environment and the quality of life for rural people of the region. We allow citizens to participate in restoring, producing, and managing the rural environment and in gaining personal and family profits from doing so.
We understand quality performance as that which
- has clear requirements and standards, definitions of "good"
- measures production conformance and customer satisfaction
- seeks conformance to these requirements and standards
- seeks ways to prevent non-conformance and defects
- avoids secondary, often unseen and undesirable costs and consequences of production
- seeks ways to reduce the difference between products and services delivered (our list of benefits) and customer expectations for those
|Quality is never accidental; it is always the result of intelligent effort.
|John Ruskin, English historian
We guarantee courteous, prompt work to deliver cost-effective, practical services that meet your objectives ... and we work hard to help you clarify and articulate those objectives.
Our products are of high quality, safe, reasonably-tested while often being innovative, and we guarantee them and are willing to provide reasonable returns or replacements. We have select products grown under superior conditions without of unnecessary toxic agents.
We offer many, diverse opportunities and seek to meet staff, customer, and local citizens' personal as well as group needs and interests within the rural context.
We seek out and offer special views but work to achieve a lasting, diverse pastoral and forestal viewscape. We seek to impede destruction of scenes that are important to many people and to build a regional visual "personatity" or spirit.
We move data to information and seek to build a workable knowledge base for improving decisions throughout the rural regions of the world with its evolving needs and challenges.
We know that there are individuals and "loners" but we know of the needs for relating, for help, for team work, and for many religious, cultural, and recreational reasons. We work for planned synergism. Thus, we offer many memberships and new forms of social networking providing secure opportunities for and knowledge from such memberships and associations.
Memory seems personal but some hold that it is a shared thought or process. We work to provide products, services and opportunities that produce pleasant, perhaps exciting, consoling and helpful memories. We work on developing memory skills but also on helping people gain tasteful small objects that focus and assist in pleasant or useful recall.
Our Work Ethic
Our work ethic includes actions and attitudes that are:
- being efficient with energy and time
- having sufficient resources for a quality life
- minimizing waste
- maximizing embodied energy
- sharing expertise
- being gentle on the land
- achieving and maintaining health, both physical and mental
- having concern for children becoming fully human
- always learning
- being diversified
- engaging in meaningful physical and mental work
- being supportive of and assisting others
- enhancing conditions for tomorrow's citizens
- being clear about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness and stressing the latter
Seeking longterm sustained profits from the land requires retaining and building its productivity as well as its many benefits for diverse potential users of private lands. To this end, generalizing, the staff tends to develop highly-related programs that include:
- encouraging long pine rotations
- making site-specific timber production prescriptions
- preserving and enhancing visual, odor, and sound quality
- reducing water-borne road sediments
- diversifying logging techniques
- using relevant information about surrounding areas
- avoiding losses in numbers of animal and plant species
- protecting and increasing soil productivity
- protecting included wetlands
- encouraging mixed tree species and mixed product production
- enhancing wild plant and animal populations
- reducing waste of all kinds
- minimizing fossil energy uses
- engaging in many types of energy conservation
- adding value to the land as well as its products, opportunities, and services
Governing thoughts and concepts
- We have a strong bias toward modified general systems theory. We attempt to share ideas and knowledge, test the goodness of some of them on the land, and gain energy for the fight ahead for an environment fit for humans. Rural System can be considered an experiment, a test of the soundness of an entrepreneurial paradigm for sustained natural resource management.
- We attempt prompt, courteous service. Old manners remain good for us and our potential and current customers.
- We welcome suggestions for improvements and attempt to offer incentives for making them and rewards for those that become part of the profit-base of the total enterprise.
- Our facilities are safe, clean, and attractive and are part of a marketing base.
- We provide progress reports and timely information as well as results for customers.
- We maintain confidential records to enhance our competitiveness. We share information with loyal cooperators.
- We compete with equals or lesser enterprises, concepts, and agencies. Competing with known superiors is irrational; competing with equals only assures wins half the time (poor odds).
- Discrimination may be part of competition.
- We do not "discriminate" in any of our programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. We actively seek to find employment opportunities for people who seem disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control or major influence.
- We do discriminate on the basis of ability, performance leading to profits, attitudes leading to group cohesion and positive synergistic results, and creative work linked to the objectives of the enterprise.
- Information is our primary product and we rarely provide it at no cost.
- Ability to do synthetic work is a resource that we sell. The results can also be sold. Empowering others (as with a computer program) to do work is more important than providing information.
- Research results in theses and dissertations and government reports (e.g., NTIS) are rich "mines" from which wealth can be gained. Mining them is one of our tasks in the cold and dark.
- We check into the fair trade provisions of cooperating companies and individuals and their products (clothing, crafts, coffee, tea, cocoa). We'll attempt to avoid including those not in compliance.
- Social behavior of corporations will be studied.
- Letters (however sent) will follow the C5 rule.
See Decent Work. It may be unified with Credo.
Disclaimer of Liability
Certain comments made within this site from time to time constitute "forward-looking statements, " that may be addresses by and subject to certain federal security laws. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "plans," "expects," "believes," anticipates," estimates," "projects" (the verb), "will," and other words of similar meaning used in conjunction with, among other things, discussions of future operations, acquisitions and divestitures, financial performance, the enterprise's strategy for growth, product development and new project or product launches. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations of future events, but actual results could vary materially from the enterprise's expectations and projections. Investors or major participants are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Rural System and its staff assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Rural System cautions that historical results should not be relied upon as indications of future performance.
Neither Robert H. Giles, Jr. nor other contributors to Rural System
(or related aspects of this web site or the related people or enterprises) shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information contained herein. They assume no responsibility for the use of the information. In no event shall Robert H. Giles, Jr. or the contributors be liable for any direct, indirect, or incidental damages arising in any way out of the use of this Web site. This disclaimer of liability applies to any damages or injury, including but not limited to those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer virus, or alteration or use of record. This server and data are not considered "operational" and we are in a testing and development mode. We do not guarantee availability or timely delivery of data, and information from the site should not be used to support operational observation, forecasting, emergency, or disaster mitigation operations, either public or private.
Disclaimer of Accuracy of Data
No warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of any information contained herein. Robert H. Giles, Jr. provides these data and concepts on an "as is" basis. All warranties of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to fitness for a particular use, freedom from computer viruses, and non-infringement of proprietary rights are disclaimed. Information is added and changed periodically, and data may become out-of-date quickly. It is recommended that the user not let a significant period of time elapse between obtaining and using the information.
Disclaimer of Applicability of Data and Information
Rural System elements as well as other parts of this web site are continually being updated and expanded. Information contained herein does not constitute an official opinion by Robert H. Giles, Jr., his former faculty colleagues at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, nor will it, by itself, meet any regulatory requirements. The information herein does not replace the need for conducting field work, experimentation, and software improvements. The information must be used where appropriate in consultation with appropriate federal, state, and local officials.
September 21, 2004