December 15, 2010

Smart decisions

I was challenged yesterday on the practicality of running a company in service to society within certain industries. My friend brought up a very valid point about gambling and mortgage brokers. An appropriate pairing.

If gambling organisations were in service of their community, what decisions might they make that would enable them to run a profitable venture, while still provide a win win situation?

What could the US mortgage brokers have said to people asking for a home loan who could never afford the fees? What decisions might Lehman Brothers have made?

This isn't an altruistic proposition. It ultimately is about smart businesses taking a future- based approach that leads to cost-effective decisions and actions.

If the gambling organisations didn't require legislation forcing them to turn away addicts, they would save money that would otherwise be spent defending their position. Not to mention lawsuits.

As for Lehman Brothers. Enough said.

December 13, 2010

In service

If business is the engine room of society, what becomes possible if your business is in service of the community you serve?

The purpose of business is to make money. That is a basic truth. If the business is not profitable, the people running it can't pay their own bills for food, electricity, schools, or clothes. Nor can they pay their mortgages, donate to charities, engage in their favourite leisure activities and so on.

But, the purpose of your specific business can be about anything you choose. It can be only to make money, or to make a difference. Keep in mind that companies operating in service of a community are way more profitable; with happier, more engaged employees creating a work experience that is a joy for all involved.

It's what we all want anyway. A business that is only about money is usually created inside a context of scarcity. That is contractive, fear-based thinking which never produces the results you want. Purpose-based business is the result of expansive, creative thinking that leads to high performance and kick-ass goal achievement.

Go for it.