Monday, March 12, 2012

Missing a Real Opportunity

The true beauty of institutions is that they’re perpetual.  The people who empower them come and go, but the institution itself is capable of being there long after you and I cycle out.

Sometimes, the societal purpose of institutions is not easy to see, especially were for-profit corporations are involved.  Some chose to abandon their societal purpose in favor of brazenly public primary objective “to enhance shareholder value”  - business-speak for “profit”. Oil companies for example serve the common good – and make money – by ensuring that fuel is delivered to consumers who need it on a timely basis.  Similarly, hospitals take calculated financial and medical risks to ensure society’s ability to have options for good health. 

Profit, intended to empower perpetuity for the public good instead becomes a way of keeping score over short-term periods; sustainability becomes at best, an afterthought.

This viewpoint is so common-place that it is now commonly perceived that the true purpose of institutions is to enhance profit and to shield individuals from the very societal responsibility at the core of the concept of institutions.  The great loss is the deep societal power of perpetuity.

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