Introduction to Mutual Benefit
To cope with the current business environment, we must consider more than ever, the connected nature of our employees, the departments they work for, our customers, our vendors, and the community around us. Inter-connected systems are nothing new, our whole world is a web of connected systems.
It is more evident than ever with the concept of “too big to fail,” that business can no longer be a zero-sum game of winners and losers. Rather, it is a business environment of mutual benefit and mutual guarantee. It is easy to explain how it used to be done and continue to try to re-create the past, however, the variables of our current economic environment will not allow the same results to occur. The old way of doing business; self-centered, “I win-you lose,” material gain over social fairness, is falling apart for all but the few. Today, individuals or departments that benefit only itself at the expense of others only accelerate the decline of the department and the company. This type of “Sub-Optimized” thinking is ruining many of today’s companies, large and small.
The real challenge today is to change our way of thinking…not just our goals, processes, systems, policies, and view of the end-state. We need imagination to grasp the immense promise-and challenge of the inter-connected organization we have created. The future lies with more cooperation, more interaction between people and departments, company and customer, vendor and company, and even greater sharing of responsibilities and interests. It is unity in diverse personal and business needs that we need today.
The future of business demands us to re-think our goals, processes, systems, policies, and view of the end-state. We need a new approach that is based on collaboration and mutual benefit, where we are all guarantors of each others well-being. The successful business of the future will have everyone, from the CEO to the part-time clerk resolve problems through deliberation, consideration and mutual guarantee. When a majority of people within the organization stop pointing fingers at who is at fault and understand that our interdependence is such that we do better when others do better as well, we will find ways to help them do better and look at ourselves to see how we can be better as well.
When a company decides to implement a strategy of mutual benefit and move from a “me” focus to a “we” focus, it will look to achieve one or more of the following:
There does not have to be conflict between making a profit and the care for employees and the community. With Mutual Benefit, it is possible to have a balance that meets everyone’s needs.
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