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Thank you, Simon, for raising this point. The last decades we have indeed witnessed scores of companies going bust and organisations reduced to a criminal level of unproductivity by putting one of their stakeholders first. Books like "Enough" and "Obliquity" provide dozens of examples of the proven fact that an obsession with shareholder value invariably leads to destruction. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of small enterprises are going belly up because they create too much customer value (value FOR the customer) without getting enough customer value (value OF the customer) in return. And thousands of (semi-)govenment institutions come to a grinding halt because they focus on employee advantages only. Just to list a few examples. And, of course, GBlake, the missions and expectations of all these stakeholders compete with each other. But why was it that John Nash received the Nobel Prize for Economics? For his equilibrium which he formulated in the fifties: a game can only be successful when all participants do what is right for themselves AND what is right for the other participants. A correction on Adam Smith's Invisible Hand that most of today's entrepreneurs and managers seem to have missed out on. I therefore suggest a slight improvement to the title of this blogpost: Don't trust companies who put ANY of their stakeholders first. Oh, and BTW: WHY does an organisation do what is does? Because it is sustained by stakeholders who expect some value in return. All stakeholders. And a just piece of the cake.
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Jul 2, 2012