“Business,Politics, and Religion….
A Failed Experiment of the Common Good”
“A business enterprise has two basic functions: marketing and innovation.
If we want to know what a business is, we have to start with its purpose. And the purpose must lie outside the business itself. In fact, it must lie in society, since a business enterprise is an organ of society. There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. The customer is a foundation of a business and keeps it in existence. The customer alone gives employment. And it is to supply the customer that society entrusts wealth-producing resources to the business enterprise.
Because it is the purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. These are the entrepreneurial functions. Marketing is the distinguishing, the unique function of the business.
ACTION POINT: Find out what needs your customers want fulfilled today. Determine how well your products are meeting the needs of your customers. That is the purpose of business.”
~ Peter F. Drucker, social ecologist
With the recent announcements of lifting the embargo in Cuba, many have had visceral reactions and opinions pro and con. My first thought was emotional as opposed to logical, particularly as a forward thinker and entrepreneur that is always seeking growth opportunities. What a potential for growth, in a venue where the demand exists in every sector of the economy, or so was my initial thought. This coupled with the emotional attachment to a people whom have been denied opportunities offered to others who have the ability to engage in free commerce.
If we are to learn anything from proven past performance, then the facts must be considered as a real and potential risk to any investor that hopes to do business in this beautiful island. What happened to all of the business interests’ pre current political state of affairs in Cuba? Were they not ceased by the current government? Will those interests be restored to those that were affected by such actions once and if new business relations are established? Or will a statute of limitations will be imposed based on some sort of ideology?
We continue to hear the mantra of no mixing business with politics, something that in my judgment needs to be challenged, particularly in a global economy where socio and political balance is outweigh by the state interfering in the market place. Does the current state of affairs reflect the level of freedom required for businesses to grow and thrive? So then, how does the current political environment define freedom? Does it look or feel anything like this?
1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:
2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. The power to determine action without restraint.
4. Political or national independence.
5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery:
6. Exemption from the presence of anything specified: freedom from fear.
7. The absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
Do the conditions exist to affirm the existence of Liberty?
1. Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2. Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3. Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
4. Freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint:
5. Permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore.
6. Freedom or right to frequent or use a place:
7. Unwarranted or impertinent freedom in action or speech, or a form or instance of it: to take liberties.
Or, Is freedom and liberty negated to the Cuban population, my making them an oppressed and enslaved society by their own designed, be it via their government?
The same mantra applies as in politics, should we then continue to propagate the fear of addressing the importance of having the freedom of expression and the freedom of worship within the open market place? Should we know think that these basic rights must exist for everyone, every place and everywhere? Are we willing to engage in commerce with those who basically canceled the freedom to engage in this type of enterprise, yes, enterprises that must be organized and ran like a business…?
So then, if we’re to side with Peter Drucker with the assertion that “A business enterprise has two basic functions: marketing and innovation. If we want to know what a business is, we have to start with its purpose. And the purpose must lie outside the business itself. In fact, it must lie in society, since a business enterprise is an organ of society. There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” Who then becomes the customer in this discussion? The Cuban people, the American economy, or is it the Cuban political system?
It’s a given that every action has a reaction, and that consensus will often be described as the absence of leadership. Our leaders have exercised leadership by indicating the lifting of the embargo, what’s not clear about this decision is the purpose.
I for one wish and pray for a free Cuba, where freedom and liberty are parts of the vernacular. Doing business there will be a great growth opportunity for many, as long as the right conditions exist, which is the main ingredient missing from this discussion.
A Final Thought on Organizational Behavior –
Lots to think about in the subject of Attitude – Individual as well as collectively; the key element for success here is internalization and understanding that attitudes comes is different forms and are often influenced by our leaders and how they behave. The right attitude must be defined, nurtured and fueled by the compelling organizational strategies, then linked to people, systems, processes and clients. The predictive outcome materializes in positive organizational alignment. An impressive formula for success we continue to advocate with our clients is focused on Attitudes, both for the leader and for those being lead.
A (S + K) + Goals = PBC = IROP. Attitude – Kill – Knowledge – Goals – Positive Behavior Change – Improved Results – Organizational – Personal
Jorge Gutierrez is an accomplished and experienced Executive Coach, Business Coach, Leadership Development Coach, Sales Trainer and Consultant. His team of Certified Leadership and Life Coaches partner with individuals to drive growth. Certified to conduct individual and organizational assessments to identify and provide gap analyses and solutions for non-profits and for profit organizations. Jorge’s passion and purpose is to serve others and develop human capital through leadership development and quality of life improvement www.BMOCgroup.com