A New Year’s Resolution

It’s the beginning of the New Year and most of us are putting into place new goals for 2010 – organizationally, across teams, and even personally. As we create those goals, perhaps we are tackling the most perplexing question facing our business – what goals will lead us to the greatest organizational effectiveness and profitability? According to a recent study, the answer may surprise you.

A new study published this past month in the Harvard Business Review (Washburn, 2009) suggests that organizations that put stakeholders’ (customers and employees) interests before profits deliver better financial results than organizations focused solely on productivity.  In fact, organizations (and particularly leaders) who were less focused on the concerns of customers, employees, and their community (including environment) generated poorer financial results.

Why is that?

The study (Washburn, 2009) which gathered data from over 520 organizations across 17 countries, found that in large part, a focus solely on profitability led to decreased employee engagement which consequently resulted in less commitment by employees, more negative views about the organization, and less willingness to sacrifice on behalf of the company – resulting in poorer financial performance. The conclusion: engagement matters.

This year, consider making engaging your customers and employees the top goals of your organization and continue to show concern for your stakeholders, community, and environment.

Washburn, N.T. (Dec 2009). Harvard Business Review. Why Profit Shouldn’t Be Your Top Goal.

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2 Responses to A New Year’s Resolution

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