Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sustainable growth in business enterprise

This article is a good outline of what sustainable enterprise needs to aspire to.  It is a little thin on concrete steps, but nonetheless outlines the essence in a well written article.
What is sustainable growth for a business?  The article emphasizes the need to look beyond the shareholders paradigm of modern corporate business.  It is a most common practice for corporate business today to concentrate their efforts on maximising shareholders' returns, ie the mantra being "profit, profit, profit!".  Unfortunately this is too often at the expense of other stakeholders.  These ranging for the environment, to the society.  Even the employees are not spared in certain companies.

The article lists the need for all stakeholders to be nurtured and their best interest taken into account for the growth to be sustainable.  The upshot of this is long term growth and a strong foundation.  The article list these stakeholders as being the shareholders, the employees, the suppliers, the clients and the community.  I would add that the environment as an important stakeholder, for even those companies that do not have a direct effect on the environment, are nonetheless a responsibility to lower their carbon foot-print, their water consumption, their waste production and so on.

Another interesting point the author makes is the genuine need to recognise merit and reward good leaders in a company for they are the ones that will have the vision and inspiration to contribute fresh ideas for growth and competitiveness.

Sustainable growth in the enterprise needs to encompass all stakeholders... not just the shareholders!