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Monday
Feb022009

Business is a Social Force

Can we create a world in which every human being is empowered to create a life he or she wants? I believe it’s possible. I also believe that business, the institution of business, is uniquely positioned to create such a world.

Muhammad Yunus is the Founder of Grameen Bank and the winner of the Nobel Peace Price in 2006. In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, he shared the idea of “Social Business.” His idea of a social business is the one in which you are only concerned about the society and not about profits.

I think Mr. Yunus is a phenomenal human being and what he has achieved is extra-ordinary. I do believe that his idea of the Social Business is just one side of a spectrum. On the other side of the spectrum, you have a business that’s only concerned with profits, sales and market share.

One is a Social Business; the other is a Selfish Business.

I believe that a business can be both. I’m not proposing that you somehow need to strike a balance between the two. What I’m saying is that it’s possible for a business to hit all its financial target AND be making a contribution to the society. And when we get this right, charity, doing good and making the world a better place do not have to be a part-time activity; it becomes full-time activity.

If every business in the world got to that point, it becomes a social force. And if we make every business in the world a social force, the whole Institution of Business becomes a social force.

According to Peter Drucker, business is the most influential institution in the world today. More so even than the Church, Government, Family, Education and Military. Business, as an institution, has the power to create the world that we have all, at some level, yearned for.

“One World through Business,” is not only possible. If we are to solve our problems and bring the world together as one, it is inevitable. Business of the future is such a business. It’s a socially conscious business. But it’s also a selfish business. It’s a socio-selfish business!

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