It's not just about the money

Why does your company exist? This might sound more like a question for a bunch of philosophising students in a coffee bar than for business leaders running global organisations.

by Human Resources, May 2006
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

But in fact, this was the starting point in a speech made by a Japanese businessman, Homer Sarasohn, given during the post-1945 period of industrial reconstruction, and was quoted more recently by Masaharu Matsushita, the then chairman of Matsushita Electric.

Such issues as responsibility to the public and the influence of the organisation on the community were cited as being as important as profits. He then quoted the founder of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company who made the following statement the basis of his own business: "We shall build good ships here; at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good ships." Substitute ‘ships’ for whatever your company makes or serves and you might have found a very simple but effective business philosophy.

Source: Profit isn't the be-all and end-all
Richard Donkin
Human Resources, May 2006

Review by Morice Mendoza

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