One of my core motivations for embarking on my doctoral research is a deep belief that a link exists between good company performance and the 'two socials'—social progress and societal wellbeing. If companies can find ways to sustain high levels of performance, then society will be better for it. Getting ahead is good, we have all heard and read messages extolling the virtue. However, many have interpreted 'getting ahead' as getting rich—presumably to enjoy life to the max, without necessarily sharing the gains with others. The saying "He who dies with the most toys wins" comes to mind. This troubles me.
My faith in business leaders to do the right thing was restored somewhat this week however, when I read this article. With references to other studies, including a very good report published by Forbes, the authors suggest that mucking in and helping others is going mainstream. Leaders of successful businesses seem to be moving beyond selfish financial goals and beyond handing out cash, to helping out. This is inspiring stuff, and it should give us all hope. But more than that, it is a call to action. We all have a role to play—some as thinkers and 'thought' leaders, others as implementers and 'do' leaders. What role will you play?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.