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Why (Most) Businesses Fail the Public and Greater Good

May 1, 2009

[Written on Aug 3, 2004]

capitalismIt is clear to me why businesses consistently fail the public and the greater good.  One cannot serve too many masters, and once a business and management team become slaves to shareholders, customers take a back seat.  Even further behind customers is society at large, despite the rhetorical “caring for our communities” pitch that many corporate leaders give.  It is rare that an organization exists and operates with the greater good of all the universe at heart.  Even the most well-intentioned researchers or scientists are typically trapped within profit-minded organizations, which include educational institutions by the way, and of course biotech companies.  Herein lies one of the great paradoxes of modern society – the “best” people working within a system that breeds selfishness, power, and ultimately, corruption.  The typical guise or reason for existence of such organizations is economic survival, betterment of mankind, shareholder satisfaction, and community interest.

So which are you [Arman Rousta] after and how will  you justify your cause?  Be careful and be honest, every step of the way.

Do non-profit businesses have more of a chance of serving all – even investors – and doing so in a transparent manner, not hiding anything from anyone? Well, that is the theory and in practice, I believe there is more nobility in the non-profit sector; however, in reality, there is also a lot of corruption and ego in non-profit circles. Power comes in different forms, and sometimes the most ‘philanthropic’ amongst us are the most prideful. The allure of money, power, control and comfortable living is attractive to almost anyone, understandably so. But the extent to which this drives capitalism and American culture is a telling sign of our country’s problems. Sooner or later, the cracks will start to show, and all of us who are participating in this massive land grab will pay the price. What I believe we need more of are UFOs (Universally Focused Organizations). This concept will be explained further as we go along.

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