Space to Think

So thinking can develop

Purpose, profit and ownership

Some of the more challenging thinking by Charles Handy (see previous post) is on the nature, purpose and ownership of business. As one who has worked for many years with the so-called non-profit sector, I particularly appreciated both Handy’s use of the far preferable term, social enterprises, and his suggestion that “conventional businesses” might learn from that sector.

Social enterprises put their purpose before their profit while recognising that profit is essential to their survival and growth; it is, as they see it, a tax on the present to pay for their future. More conventional businesses may one day begin to see things the same way.

It is surprisingly rare, in my experience, for business and management leaders to look to the not-for-profit sector for insight and best practice. I recall telling some learning and development colleagues once that I was on a course on aspects of “not-for-profit” management; they retorted with amusement and the question, how hard can it be to not make a profit?

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January 16, 2008 Posted by | Charles Handy | , , , , | 2 Comments