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Monday, March 14, 2011

Bad Behavior of Big Business | A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER

Bad Behavior of Big Business

by Adam J. Kovitz

Bad behavior and big business are two concepts that seem to go hand in hand these days.  Even the most optimistic entrepreneurs can't help but take on a somewhat cynical countenance when one invokes such names as "Lehman Brothers", "AIG", "BP", "Bear Sterns" and "Goldman Sachs".  Yet we were taught right from wrong as kids - to be respectful of one another and to play in the same sandbox together.

Logically speaking, entrepreneurs from the small and mid-size sectors want the same thing that their big business counterparts want:  to be profitable.  They want to play in a free-market society that supports capitalism and they all want to grow.

So what's going on here and why is there such a discrepancy between the "golden rule" from our childhood and the "laws of the land" of today's business landscape?
For one thing, the "golden rule" is based upon the fundamental values inherent in Judeo-Christian belief - the idyllic notions that one can be "anything they want to be", "do unto others as they would do unto you" and "the meek shall inherit the earth".  These values are built into any TV show or movie with a happy ending - we all want the underdog to win as well as any bad behavior get punished appropriately.

But does this "golden rule" that we're taught in school apply to our current laws?  Many would argue that certainly here in the U.S., our country was founded upon the same value system, yet why is it that the American taxpayer had to brunt the burden of a failed economic system while the same culprits would post several quarters later record-high profits?

Putting any anger and resentment aside (this is what CEOs are supposed to do after all, right?), using reason as our guide, something has changed, and not for the better (unless you're one of the lucky 1% of the world population enjoying quadruple revenues since 1979).

How much more money does someone in the top 1% of all income earners really need?
At what point does big business become too big?
Have we already passed the point where bad behavior goes unpunished, provided you have more money than most?
How many more natural, financial and legal disasters (man-made or otherwise) will it take before the majority of the other 99% get fed up enough to do more than protest peacefully?
I ask my fellow entrepreneurs to understand and acknowledge that the seeds of revolution are being sown right now - take a look around the world and see for yourself.  We just don't know if it will be a peaceful revolution (TNNWC's hope) or otherwise.  Either way, there is strength in the numbers that come from working cooperatively and opportunity abounds even in the most explosive of powder kegs.

And while there is much to emulate in the way big business operates, stay away from the bad behavior - no one wants to be brought down to that level.  If we stoop to such lows, we're only becoming part of the problem...not the solution.

Strap in, boys and girls...plenty more fun times ahead!

All my best,


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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