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Leadership & Business Wisdom

LIMITS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

“IT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR BUSINESS TO DO WELL; IT MUST ALSO DO GOOD.” BUT IN ORDER TO “DO GOOD,” A BUSINESS MUST FIRST “DO WELL.”

Whenever a business has disregarded the limitation of economic performance and has assumed social responsibilities that it could not support economically, it has soon gotten into trouble.

Union carbide was not socially responsible when it put its into Vienna, West Virginia, to alleviate unemployment there. It was, in fact, irresponsible. The plant was marginal to begin with. The process was obsolescent. At best the plant could barely keep its head above water. And this, inevitably, meant a plant unable to take on social responsibility, even for its own impacts. Because the plant was uneconomical to begin with, Union Carbide resisted so long all demands to clean it up. This particular demand could not have been foreseen in the late 1940s, when concern with jobs far outweighed any for the environment. But demands of some kind can always be expected. To do something out of social responsibility that is economically irrational and untenable is therefore never responsible. It is sentimental. The result is always greater damage.

ACTION POINT: Explain why this is true: In order for a business to “do good,” it must first “do well,” and indeed very well.

INTEGRATING THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL

IT IS THIS ABSENCE OF A FUNCTIONING INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, ABLE TO INTEGRATE OUR INDUSTRIAL REALITY THAT UNDERLIES THE CRISES OF OUR TIMES.

Man in this social and political existence must have a functioning society just as he must have air to breath in his biological existence. However, the fact that man has to have a society does not necessarily mean that he has it. Nobody calls the mass of unorganized, panicky, stampeding humanity in a shipwreck a “society.” There is no society, though there are human beings in a group. Actually, the panic is directly due to the break-down of a society; and the only way to overcome it is by restoring a society with social values, social discipline, social power, and social relationships.

Social life cannot function without a society; but it is conceivable that it does not function at all. The evidence of the last twenty-five years of Western civilization hardly entitles us to say that our social life functioned so well as to make out a prima-facie case of the existence of a functioning society.

ACTION POINT: The passage above was written during World War II. It recognized that after centuries of industrial advances there had not been a similar advance in other institutions of society. Should the economic dimension of society ever take supremacy over the human, social, and political dimensions?

True saddness is when someone still thinks your the same person after all these years. They brand you because of their own ego, fear and lack of spirituality. What’s sadder is when they are Christian.”

SHANNON L. ALDER

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”

HOWARD SCHULTZ

“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

HOWARD SCHULTZ

“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…”

HOWARD SCHULTZ

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

JEFF BEZOS

“A professional headshot in front of a bookshelf says you’re an intellectual. A professional headshot peeking though a bookshelf says you’re probably under a restraining order.”

RYAN LILLY

“What we are trying to do at Virgin is not to have one enormous company in one sector under one banner, but to have two hundred or even three hundred separate companies. Each company can stand on its own feet and, in that way, although we’ve got a brand that links them, if we were to have another tragedy such as that of 11 September – which hurt the airline industry – it would not bring the whole group crashing down.”

RICHARD BRANSON

“A distinctive appearance and a simple set of characteristics lead to an extremely flexible brand. (pg. 38)”

WOODROW PHOENIX

“Fame is not the reason why brands are created and erected. Be diligent, focused and chain unceasing prayers to God who will continue giving you cheers.”

ISRAELMORE AYIVOR

“We are … the un-proud non-possessors of objects whose chief substance is that of the transient symbol. Our Puritan fear of the love of things turns out to have been groundless after all, for we do not love things or even possess them: they pass through our lives as barium passes through the digestive tract, unassimilated, their function merely to flash signals along the way.”

RALPH CAPLAN

“Since inception, the IPL has worn its brand value like a corroboration of inner virtue. On the eve of this tournament, under the headline ‘Brand IPL touches the sky’, the league’s website reverberated with the announcement that Brand Finance, a branding consultancy, had valued the brand value of the IPL brand at $4.13 billion worth of brand—which is a lot of brand, brand-wise.”

GIDEON HAIGH

“The assumption now is that the interests of the brand and of the game overlap to the degree that cricket need hardly be mentioned.”

GIDEON HAIGH

“Considered your brand a life experience.”

DANIEL C. FELSTED

“A brand should take into account the customer’s total shopping experience—every contact point is important and should be in accord with the customer expectations.”

DANIEL C. FELSTED

“The world’s most powerful business tool is also the most misunderstood. The e-factors are all about feelings not figures and feelings rule all buying decisions!”

DANIEL C. FELSTED

“First they promote a most self-seeker person to a very high position and then through him/her they will promote all their products at a premium price.”

ANUJ SOMANY

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