What is it that makes a company successful? What is it that makes a company valuable? The first answer to come into one’s mind is: It’s the profit, it’s the money it makes.
“The business of business is business”, said Milton Friedman, an American economist, in the 1970s. This quote basically says that the only social responsibility of a business is “(…) to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.”
But does this cover the whole story? What is it that makes the business a great business in the end? “It’s all about people”, Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, says. “And it’s all about people because it’s all about society. It’s about the societal purpose a company gives.” Joe Kaeser calls it Business to Society, B2S.
A company has to have a purpose and that purpose has to be creating value for society. A company which does not serve society should not exist.”
- How many jobs do we create?
- What impact does our business have on the environment?
- How do we support the sustainable development of a country?
About the FLI Thought Leader Joe Kaeser
Joe Kaeser started to work for Siemens directly after finishing his economics studies – that happened 1980. From there on he remained faithful to the company 36 years long – he experienced good times and bad times when in the middle of the bribe affair he became Chief Financial Officer. Today he is leading Siemens AG which belongs to the Top 100 most valuable companies in the world. Consequently he is leading more than 348.000 people in 190 countries. What gets Joe Kaeser to get up every day, what makes him go to work and do the business? He says it’s the people working for Siemens – and the willing to thrive for the future of the company.