Pursuing the common good?

According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (2011) the wise leader will create the future extending beyond the company, instead it must be about pursuing the common good, they claim. In other words the future managers must serve a higher purpose. They call for ethically sound judgments – similar to the Japanese concept of toku – a virtue that leads a person to pursue the common good and moral excellence as a way of life. In other words making decisions according to what is good for the organization and the society.

If I grasp our course right, I think the whole idea about the course is the same. That is quite a task, to change the worlds business leaders to do so. The teachings of even this Business School of Aalto is mostly still not questioning the old way of life. With no criticism at all we are thought to sell and market more, the be “successful” business people.

However I have often pondered on the bad side of marketing and the good side of marketing. And of course we must make it clear that in this context people often refer to massmarketing and advertising and sales promotion. But naturally marketing is about the product, the price, place and sales channels. Those decisions must be made even though the product is sustainable (to the extend that is possible). Secondly in my own work as a marketer of public transport I have had to answer many times to this question, do we need traditional sales promotion and ads for public transport. Well yes and no. We do need to make all the services as good as possible and available to as many as possible. In todays world that would be very good mobile and net based services. The other side of marketing I have thought is building a good relationship with the brand and the product. To that visual design has been important. Besides that people need to know where and what services are available to be able to use them. That is what we use marketing for.

From the last class I liked the thought of looking in to the whole chain and the challenge to think further, what could we do different. I really liked also the thought on how to marry the ecological production to meet customer needs. That takes some extra thinking and willingness to go further but I believe that is the key to future success (I hope so at least). Also the long lasting relationship with the producers was a great thought.

An example of the complexities with this issue. I have a friend who started a nice coffee/tea and chocolate shop chain here in Helsinki region (caffi.fi). She knows exactly were all her products are produced and buys them straight from the producers. The roast the coffee themselves at their shop. Two notions. To buy small amounts might be brought into Finland by air (don’t know if, but just a thought) secondly since they roast the coffee at the shop it might be real energy user. So things are complicated. Doing good is not always easy. However her products are superior and the business is doing ok.

See you on Monday.



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