Management With Soul

I foresee a workplace movement (it's actually already underway) that I call "Management With Soul" where organizations will operate in full recognition of our duty to stewardship:

- stewardship of the planet (environmental stewardship)

- stewardship of community (using corporate profit to fight hunger, poverty, and disease)

- stewardship of people (where the sanctity of the person is so central that policies are revolutionized to put the Employee and the Customer center-stage)

There are heralds of this movement including Kenny Moore and John Scherer.

Where is this beginning to happen today? Take a look at Best Buy and Semco.

What other ones are you aware of?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Nov 23, 2007


Scott said…
Interesting idea Terry. I've seen a similar move over the past years. After all the huge changes we have seen in countries like China are not down to governments but rather the organisations and people within who really make things happen.

I do worry though that there is, in some cases, a move towards a belief that "profit is bad". I was talking with a Dutch colleague the other day who (once I made sure he understood that the UK and England are not the same thing!) introduced me to the idea of "Greedership" which he used to describe some corporate leaders.

I empathise with this to a point but in my consulting experience I have only ever met 1 CEO fully qualified in greedership. Most leaders (ad consultants) had to start somewhere and that was often at the bottom. I get really annoyed when people criticise leaders just because they are successful. This is especially unfair in the UK given the taxation system.

So what is missing? Let’s all start by believing that people are fundamentally decent and we should lead and manage them accordingly.
Terrence Seamon said…
Hi Scott,
I agree with your comment. Profit can be bad or good. Bad when it is the aim of Greedership.

In my posting, I was trying to addreswhen profit is good.

Many managers of for-profit businesses are starting to realize that they are not just in existence to make money. Making money is 1/3 of the equation, the other parts being planet and people, The Triple Bottom Line.

When I spoke with Charles Handy and his wife Elizabeth recently, they retold the story of a dinner they held many years ago for a group of business heads. Elizabeth asked them what they did. They answered that they made money. Taken aback, she pressed them and asked what they actually did at their respective companies.

As the lightbulbs went off in their heads, they began to realize that profit was a by-product, not the end.

Charles chimed in by saying that the real purpose of a business should be to make life better for people in some way.

That's the movement I'm talking about.


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