What is good business?

Last November we asked Prof. Csikszentmihalyi to give a short definition of the term: ‘Good Business’. There is no business without making profit, but good business goes beyond just surviving in the marketplace.

For making Good Business you have to make sure, that:

  • first of all, you enjoy doing what you are doing. You have to feel that the job helps you grow as a person.
  • the people who work for you have to feel to be helped by working to have a better life, not only financially, but they have to feel, that the job they are doing is good for the people,
  • the business has to be good for the society in general, not just for you (as a manager/leader) and for the people who work for you

Many business leaders today do view their jobs as entailing responsibility for the welfare of the wider community. These individuals do not define themselves as profit-making machines whose only reason for existing is to satisfy escalating expectation for immediate gain. (…) What do they consider their mission to be? What do they do to make life better for themselves and for others? Is there hope for society as a whole in the example they provide? (Csikszentmihalyi: Good Business, 2003. Penguin Books)