Archive for January, 2011

Why to seek more profit

Fellow BGIer Brian Setzler posted an interesting 3 minute video by Mark Albion that sweetly illustrates the pointlessness of profit maximization as a pure goal.  Here.

I think Brian’s post (and Mark’s video) neatly capture the problem of the shallow nature of business. Brian also has a clear articulation of how it is a system that can produce negative results despite being comprised of mostly well intentioned people.  I see a parallel in social justice organizing: people know how to organize marches and demonstrations and we’re imitating the form of the great work of the ’60s, but we’re not generating the same success because we’re only copying the visible parts, we’re missing the less visible ways those parts connected to deeper purpose.

In business we know how to get more efficient and focus on the bottom line but in our specialization with those trees we’ve lost sight of the forest -the why of it.  The video is totally about that but I think can leave viewers at the wrong answer: stay a fisherman.  I think the right answer is fisherman needs to partner with a sustainable MBA like Brian or me to say: I can help you grow your business not to build a private empire but to generate broad wealth in your community;  grow your business so you don’t just provide employment for yourself but some of your neighbors too.  Further I’ll create a workplace that invests in learning healthy conflict resolution skills and project management so when you come home from work you’re a better neighbor too, you’re enhanced not drained. That’s why the  fisherman should grow his business.  MBA skills are merely Means that accidentally have become Ends.

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