In evolving to stakeholder value, I think there are two logical steps: moving our focus from owner to customer, then to employee.
A focus on customer value is the next evolutionary step over a focus on shareholder value. It’s the core of Lean (and eventually became the core of ToC after it grew beyond the Goal being to make money). It is a healthy first step to let go of the pursuit of profit for the pursuit of customer value. Drucker said it is the purpose of the organisation.
Beyond that, the business world now understands we want to be growing towards stakeholder value, meaning the customer is but one stakeholder. The values we embrace include humanistics and ESG. We seek value for staff, customers, owners, partners, neighbours, society, and the planet, who all define value differently.
The next evolutionary step is laid out by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini in their book Humanocracy: the purpose of the organisation is to be better together than we can be apart. We create an organisation focused on the humanity of its members. If our focus is our organisation’s people and the collective values we hold, we will seek to create value for all other stakeholders by the simple mechanism of becoming better people. We go on Laloux’s journey towards Teal.
If you look after your staff well, they will look after your customers.
– Richard Branson