Business creates value and this makes business work. Provided the person managing the business works in the right way and with foresight. On the other hand, thinking up a business capable of creating value beyond profit is not a timeless utopia. You only have to believe in it and act accordingly. There are plenty of examples.
Sixteen examples have been lined up by Vittorio Coda, Mario Minoja, Antonio Tessitore and Marco Vitale in 540 pages entitled Valori d’impresa in azione [“Corporate values in action”].
The authors have one aim: to reach out to managers of businesses to point out that value can be created beyond money and that, if successful, the balance sheets also benefit. After a theoretical analysis of the links between businesses, values and businessmen, the authors take into consideration stories of firms from the most widely varying sectors. Thus, parading one after the other, we have: Arti Grafiche Boccia, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Calzedonia, Cassa Padana, Chiorino, Etica SGR, Gi Group, Kayser Italia, Manni, Mezzacorona, Palm, Sabaf, Sofidel, Solvay, Veronesi and Zambon. All cases featuring the ability to combine profit with other things.
An extract from the preface to the book explains more than anything else the spirit of the work. “The values in question, because they are in fact ‘in action’, are not suitable for being exploited in order to make fig leaves intended to mask improper behaviour. Nor can they be traced back to a single value (such as possibly, for example, ‘profit’ or the ‘creation of share value’ or ‘growth in size’) to which other values are systematically subordinated and to some extent sacrificed. They are therefore unrelated to those that cannot succeed in conceiving the management of a business without a goal function to be maximised or those who maintain that businesses are entities lacking in intrinsic objectives, pursuing the objectives of those who hold control of them pro tem.
Making a profit can be easier than creating true value, but it is the latter which leads the business to success. The pages by Coda, Minoja, Tessitore and Vitale tell you how.
Valori d’impresa in azione
Vittorio Coda, Mario Minoja, Antonio Tessitore and Marco Vitale