Key questions for business…

Today, the Treasury Select Committee will be grilling the four men who headed the big banks that caused this current crisis live on TV.  It does have a little of the feeling of Justice being seen to be done about it and whilst I am sure it will be a less than pleasant day for these four gentlemen, I suspect that there might be a long queue at the door of volunteers who would willingly endure this if they could swap their financial position for that of these ex-bankers.

It does raise a number of serious questions for the rest of us though:-

  • Who do business leaders owe a duty of care to? 
    • Does it go beyond the shareholders? 
    • Their ordinary staff who are sharing the misery? 
    • Their customers who are also in turmoil now? 
    • Society as a whole?
  • How should we measure success in a business?
    • Short term profits?
    • Long term growth?
    • Contribution to the greater good?
  • How do we reward successful business leaders?
    • Shares?
    • Salary?
    • Bonuses?
    • Positive regard / respect / public acclamation?
    • Security of tenure?

If you are running a small business these questions may seem to be simple to answer or irrelevant for you, but I would suggest that truly understanding the relationship of your business with those it touches is a key loadstone for steering you towards safety and success in these turbulent times?

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on these questions and this big, big issue….

“I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.Ernest Hemingway

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One Response to “Key questions for business…”

  1. Jeff Mowatt says:

    Yes Richard I’ve been watching some of those select committee broadcast which I came across by chance.

    You touch on the essence of what my colleague did in 1996, when given the opportunity to serve as a volunteer on Clinton’s re-election committee.

    He put forward a “what if” for business that as a priority served the needs of people and it seems the idea has spread:

    http://www.p-ced.com/about/history/

    Jeff

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