Friedman, Porridge Oats and meaning in business

Why does your business exist? What is the best model for it to accomplish its goals?

We’ve been thinking about this a lot.

It has been over 50 years since Milton Friedman’s pretty emphatic article in the New York Times, entitled: The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits. In it, Milton concludes that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits…“

Does this ring true for you? It doesn’t for us. Instead, we kind of like (former president of Quaker Oats) Kenneth Mason’s views on the issue:

“Making a profit is no more the purpose of a corporation than getting enough to eat is the purpose of life. Getting enough to eat is a requirement of life; life’s purpose, one would hope, is somewhat broader and more challenging. Likewise with business and profit.”

So the question is, how do we as Expectation State, and you as the development community, grow our organisations in a fair, responsible and equitable way?