Major story in this week’s business press – Business Roundtable announcement

In a prior life, I was part of  a team that built a great company by following a simple equation:   Do the right things for our clients + Do the right things for each other = Great business results.   The premise being that if we focused on doing the right thing, great things like growth would happen in the long term.   We wanted to avoid focusing on ‘the right side’ of the equation – focusing solely on the bottom line might dilute our commitment to how we treated our clients and employees.   We were more interested in the long game.

This week the WSJ, NYT, and NPR (also featured on CNBC) covered an announcement from the Business Roundtable, a group of several hundred large company CEOs including the likes of Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase) and Tim Cook (Apple).    This esteemed group has issued a statement saying that the ‘purpose of a corporation’ can no longer focus solely on shareholder value, rather it must also invest in employees and drive value for its customers, among other things.

Ironically, I imagine that by doing those ‘other things’ like investing in employees and driving customer value – shareholder value will be increased.     Links to the stories in the WSJ, NYT, and NPR are below – an interesting read/listen.

WSJ Version: “Move Over, Shareholders: Top CEOs Say Companies Have Obligations to Society”

NYT Version: “Shareholder Value Is No Longer Everything, Top C.E.O.s Say”

NPR Marketplace: Podcast, “When the bottom line isn’t everything”

By Dave Deiters
Dave Deiters Executive Director