“Strategic management is about two things, gaining competitive advantage, and maximizing profitability.” Said my teacher in the capstone business school class.
I raised my hand, “why?”
Familiar question that I often ask.
“Why can’t a corporation be satisfied with providing real value for real people without the need to maximize profitability or gain an edge? Why can’t they just self sustain?”
The teacher had no answer. That night he posted a response on the classes message board something to the tune of “Sam’s question was perplexing, and honestly, there is no answer for why maximizing profitability and competitive advantage is the nature of corporations.” He went on to expound and summed it up with an “it is what it is” type statement.
The class was somewhat of an annoyance for me. Quite honestly it turned me off from business. I had spent 4 years getting a degree teaching me to work for some selfish entity who’s only aim was profit?
When looking at whether a company should be environmentally responsible, the issue was approached from a “what will it cost to care vs. what will it cost to not care.” When looking at hiring, firing, laying off, human resources in general, it was looked from a “will it lead to maximizing profit and gaining a competitive advantage.”
This was the almighty filter for strategic management: selfishness.
What mattered wasn’t helping people, what mattered was the need for MORE. MORE MORE MORE. It wasn’t until I read the book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle that my ill feeling toward this way of thinking made sense.
Here’s Eckhart Tolle talking about egoic entities:
“The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing, and basic comforts could be easily met for all humans on the planet, were it not for the imbalance of resources created by the insane and rapacious need for more, the greed for the ego. It finds collective expression in the economic structures of this world, such as the huge corporation, which are egoic entities that compete with each other for more. Their only blind aim is profit. They pursue that aim with absolute ruthlessness. Nature, animals, people, even their own employees, are no more than digits on a balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded.”
Warning: Huge corporations are egoic entities
Their only blind aim is profit, and competitive advantage.
How can you guess this relates to our health and fitness? Well we’re bombarded with corporate food manufactures. Do these corporations care about your health? Does McDonald’s care about your well being? Does Pepsi care about your vitality?
Do they care about you in any way, shape or form? Probably not. They care about your money.
How could a corporation that manufactures food maximize profit?
How about this… make it taste really good by hiring scientists to study and expose human taste instincts. Infuse the food with addictive agents (corn syrup, msg). Manufacture artificial flavorings and put them in everything. Then advertise to condition in their product, their slogan, and their brand into our minds.
Hungry? Why wait!
I’m Loving it.
Have it your way.
It’s good mood food.
It’s empowering to see corporations for what they are. When you realize that their one aim is profit, you can begin to be more perceptive to their marketing and their motives which will allow you to make better decisions.
When I first began to realize the amount of power and influence corporations have on our society I was pissed. Every time I’d see a commercial for unhealthy corporate food it would anger me. Now days, I feel like I’ve matured past that and I can see them for what they are and just laugh at their attempts to take my money.