Our Profit Is Unmoored From Our Purpose

Typical “Creedyesque” jargon, but somehow, in your gut, you feel it’s on target.  What does it mean.  In this article the writers discuss this issue and some of the things people are doing about it.


It was clear in 2003 that executives were confused about the interrelation of purpose and profits. The goals were considered to be mutually exclusive, even though research at both Harvard and Stanford revealed a significant fact: The most successful companies, both in profitability and longevity, are the ones who recognize the absolute necessity of profits as well as the equally high necessity of having a purpose beyond shareholder wealth.

…More at It’s Time to Balance Profits and Purpose – David K. Williams and

What I Would Do:
It was Peter Drucker who said the purpose of business is to: “Get and Keep Customers”.  In this broader context purpose and profits are not mutually exclusive.  It has been my outspoken belief that DeathCare makes a substantive contribution to society.  But many in our profession have lost their way or, at least, their voice.

There is an apocryphal story about a Russian priest on sabbatical.  One day on walk in a nearby forest he stumbles on an army encampment.  “Halt! Who are you? and Why are you here?”  Challenges the sentry.  Startled the priest pauses and then collects himself and responds with his own question: “How much do you earn?”  Now confused the sentry  responds “What does that have to do with anything? Who are you?  and Why are you here?”  The priest responds in turn: “Because I will pay you that for the rest of my life if you will ask me those two questions every day.”

Who are you?

Why are you here?