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Doing Good is not a Strategy

Posted Jun 04 2009 10:10pm

I am writing this after talking to a good friend of mine from California. That has inspired this post.

He is an Indian residing in the US. Stayed there for 10 years now. A Masters degree holder, successful, married the love of his life, makes enough money to lead a decent life and works in the environmental/water field. What else can you ask for a good life?

But he is frustrated and he wants to do something good, especially for India. Can he travel back to India and do something there which makes it a good deal for him and for India?

I have faced that conundrum before and I do not have a solution. What I do have is some stories and experience.

Our work in Deeshaa revolved around doing good. That did not go well.

One thing I have learned from my experience and better still, the experience of others is that doing good is not a strategy. Doing good can be a principle. For example, Google says ‘Do no Evil’ and that is its principle of running business. It’s strategy is making money from ads. Then Google can give some money to its charitable arm and invest in some good stuff.

However, do no evil is not a strategy. In the same sense, we cannot go out with a goal of doing good as a strategy.

Because that will not help you to determine a market, a consumer, a business model and how you can going to sustain yourself or a company.

And what is true for a company is true for an individual too.

Does this contradict with the whole purpose of this blog? Yes and No. If sustainability is the only goal then it is wrong however, if sustainability can drive business strategy then yes.

Posted in Green Strategy, Green Thinking
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