Here at Good Business Lab, we find ourselves in a unique position. We ask questions, we research, we present results, and build a case for change. The questions we ask mostly pertain to practices in big manufacturing businesses. While these questions may not interest many, we believe the answers will, owing to their much wider applicability and understanding of current times, and what needs change.
At our core, we care for workers (for instance those employed in the garment manufacturing industry) and their wellbeing. Our questions are reflective of these concerns, and the answers we find — sometimes through conversations with them, sometimes through others — try to address the same. It’s a journey, far from complete.
The leg of the journey we have reached now beckons us to start sharing these questions, get opinions, anecdotes and feedback on how crazy, revolutionary, original or seemingly unimportant these questions perhaps are. What do businesses care for? What do workers want? Is there a common ground?
To share this and more, we are launching this blog. So it doesn’t become a monologue, we’ll ask questions, cause sometimes they make conversations easier, focused, and interesting. Feel free to ask some back, and challenge our ideas or help build new ones.
Before we close, let us tell you about an old narrative that we believe has lived far beyond its purported lifetime, it says:
The business of business is business, and the only social responsibility businesses have is to increase profits. (Milton Freidman, 1970).
While it is not our space to contest that, what we question is whether today, almost 5 decades since, is the approach to do business still the same? Are the channels to make profits still the same? Is the perspective of businesspeople to profits, any different in a different world? Have we not found innovative ways of running a business that could proportionately benefit both the business and those who make the business work, for instance, labor? It is this factor of production that is uncared for, and where we believe lies a social as well as a business opportunity (seen in a way), to do good, to do better.
Old narratives of the kind presented, catalyze new initiatives like ours, by exposing the untapped potential of doing good. Continue reading our blog to know what we mean when we say “Worker wellbeing is good business.”
Keeping true to the curiosity we have honed over time, this blog will ask a series of “Why.”