The role of business…
February 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Businesses are not responsible to make the world a better place for everyone. The role of businesses is to stay true and deliver to their purpose… their “raison-d’être”; the vision, the planning, the investment that gave them form, and the staff that makes it all work by creating, managing and delivering its goods and services profitably… without which businesses would not prevail.
However, few things in life and these fluid times are strictly black or white… businesses and individuals are not islands; they do not operate in a vacuum under the rules of a once-upon-a-time private and “sanctioned” plan. Businesses are members and play a key role within a larger society, as such, they have responsibilities and options they legally subscribed to and must choose to take respectively, whilst going about achieving their promised commitments and intended purposes.
Long gone (thank God) are the days when businesses and the individuals that work in them, could exist and act independent of all other factors…that the condition still exists in pockets of “darkness” throughout the world, is an aberration hopeless in its persistence, rather than any sort of validation for its myopic and outdated practice.
It is unavoidable and in everyone’s best interests for governments, businesses and individuals to govern manage and act responsibly, taking into account and benefitting from their roles, influence and wise interactions with all other factors crucial to make society within our inter-connected global economies work effectively and sustainably.
This responsible and cooperative approach does not contradict in-the-least the “grow and prosper” purpose of a business as expressed here… the approach will prevail in spite of all examples one may point to; of excesses, apathy and greed still all-too-real nowadays. Yet, these negative examples are waning… as the demarcation lines between business, environmental, societal and individual interests continue to blur by their obvious and increasing inter-dependency. In its place, we are witnesses to a gradual global rise of ethical practices and social consciousness at all levels and in many cases, being led by the very businesses one could argue have “no business” in doing so.
All of us can fill several pages with corporate examples of responsible stewardship AND business growth; whether the practices are still in their infancy or already imbedded as “mature” corporate governance… perhaps we all should if for nothing else to remind ourselves that all is not doom & gloom.
Collective responsible and ethical actions are what will make this world a better place AND… they are good for ALL including businesses… their prosperity and our collective survival is absolutely dependant on it.
- The Best Corporate Governance Practices (thinkup.waldenu.edu)