I had an interesting exchange this morning with Bill Kizer, founder of the Sage Partners, Employees and Alumni Networking LinkedIn Group.
He posted, “Want to know what’s wrong with business today? The prioritization of profit over principle is built into American corporate culture.”
I disagree, at least partially.
Pursuit and prioritization of profit is not a bad thing per se. The problem occurs when the pursuit of profit is driven by an over focus on efficiency and cost reduction rather than innovation and satisfaction of customer needs and wants.
The problem comes when the question, "How are we to be profitable?" is answered primarily by saying, "We will need to cut and recover costs." Yes, short term thinking as Bill points out is part of it, but it is the loss of the entrepreneurial spirit (or as some would say – purpose) that is the real problem.
I believe all companies begin to die when more energy is spent on creation of profit through cost reduction (efficiency) than on the creation of profit through innovation for customers (effectiveness).
Yes, this is a derivative of the Eff’ing debate.