What if development of people became our organizational raison d’être?
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
What is the purpose of business?
Milton Friedman, a Nobel-prize winning economist, wrote that the purpose of business is maximizing profit for the shareholders.
Peter F. Drucker said that “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” and “the purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.”
Blaine Bartlett, bestselling author of “Compassionate Capitalism” says that “the purpose of business is to uplift the quality of life on this planet.”
This is my personal favorite:
“Business is where you practice your human skills. It’s where you grow.” Andrew Cherng, Co-Founder and Visionary, Panda Restaurant Group, Forbes’ 2015 America’s Best Employer.
Part of Panda’s expressed mission is “becoming a world leader in people development.” According to Vipul H. Shah, Regional Director of Operations at Panda Restaurant Group, “Panda exists to better the lives of people, and we build an organization to allow that to happen. How we do this is selling American Chinese food.”
Andrew Cherng has more to say about that: “I’m talking about everyone who works at Panda. They’re inspired to better their own lives. We’re not really selling Chinese food, you know. Our real purpose is about developing people. You have to grow! You grow as a person, and then you will grow in business.”
Why would we, as leaders and visionaries in Conscious Organizations, want to make development of people our raison d’être?
8 Why’s To Have People Development as Priority 1:
- When an organization is committed to transforming people’s life, people bring back to work their transformed self along with new mindsets, behaviors, and ways of being. As a consequence, they produce results and create solutions that were not possible before.
- People become more fulfilled, confident, happy, and self-expressed, often finding a clearer sense of direction in life. Their personal life and relationships improve which, in turn, positively impact their achievement and satisfaction at work.
- Transformation and growth is challenging. As people begin to dig deeper and learn about themselves, they start to understand who they really are and why they do what they do. Their sense of purpose crystallizes, resulting in clearer focus in their work.
- People develop a better understanding of others, causing communication and connectedness to drastically improve. As a result, R&D and Sales work well together, and so do Accounting and Marketing. Teamwork, collaboration and effectiveness skyrockets.
- As people grow, they become willing to “play big,” step outside the box, take on challenges, make mistakes, fail, get up and try again – knowing the company has their back. They achieve results and performance levels that could not have been achieved by “playing safe” and staying in their comfort zone.
- As people are being challenged, how they learn to respond to challenges (rather than react or retract) becomes important. This builds resilience and stamina.
- Everyone in the organization begins to take responsibility and ownership of their work and their roles. This results in a company-wide “buck stops here attitude,” free of blame or finger-pointing.
- When everyone takes full responsibility and 100% ownership of any situation, there is no space for anyone to be a victim. Leadership becomes not a title of authority but a chosen mindset.
This sounds like an organization I want to be a part of!
Bottom line is this: if we make development of people the purpose of our business, all other purposes fall into place:
- Shareholder profit is maximized
- Customers will be kept and created
- Common men and women will be enabled to do uncommon things
- The quality of life on this planet is uplifted
How could this apply to your organization?