Giving to get and building value: what extractive thinkers miss

Extending the dialogue from James Montier’s excellent article discussed here last week, The world’s dumbest idea., we reference the inspiring story of SAS as a worthy corporate leader that has built extraordinary value for all its stakeholders: customers, employees and their families/communities/taxpayers, and owners/shareholders–in that order.

It matters how we make money. The lure of quick bucks is the antithesis of long term value and strength. And yet it is the extractive, quick-bucks-and-then-destruct model that is widely recommended by investment bankers and their advisers all over the world. Time to value better leaders and behaviors.

“People want a life with money, not money and no life.” Jack Poll, a 28-year SAS employee and director of recreation and employee services. See: How SAS became the world’s best place to work

“If it’s crossed your mind that how SAS manages is blatantly obvious on its effects to inspire human performance in the workplace, you likely are wondering why more organizations don’t get on board. A big part of the reason, it seems, is because SAS has an advantage that many Fortune 500 companies do not. It’s a privately held company and not influenced by the short-term objectives of shareholders.

But what Wall Street, and all of corporate America, should realize, is that SAS has proven the effects of a far more abundant leadership model—one that greatly rewards all constituents. Employees are made happier, more engaged, and produce exceptional work. Customers are more loyal because products have fewer bugs, and their contacts at the firm rarely change. But company ownership is, perhaps, the most richly rewarded. According to Forbes, Goodnight is now the 47th richest man in America, with an estimated net worth of $7.3 billion.”

Similar principles are at work in Costco, see: Unselfishness- the world’s most ethical company and why collaboration works.

All of which stands in stark contrast to the culture of investment banking which has dominated and misdirected so much of the free world over the past 30 years. See: Business culture in banking industry favors dishonest behavior, study shows.

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