On Thursday, February 25, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP the Bay Area Future Salon hosted John Montgomery’s presentation â€œActivating Consciousness in Corporationsâ€ In June 2009, US Supreme Court has basically decided that corporations have the same right to free speech as people. Do they have the same responsibilities? Text from DJCline.com
As a lawyer representing over a thousand startups, Montgomery sees a definite pattern among the successful ones: They activated their conscience. He wants to share that pattern of success. Montgomery thinks new corporations can build positive behavior into their DNA. He thinks they should be raised with the same values as you would raise a child. With human status comes freedom and responsibility. Text from DJCline.com
People ask me why I study startups. I tell them because corporations are cute when they are little. “Look! it just got its first round of funding.” When they get too big to fail they can lose sight of things. Montgomery is familiar with economist Joel Bakan’s book and filmÂ “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit And Power.” Bakan said if you evaluated a corporation’sÂ behavior it might be diagnosed as psychotic because of its disregard of others. As long as profit is the priority all other considerations are unimportant. Bakan recommends revoking charters or articles of incorporation for companies that fail to comply with the needs of the societies they live in. Text from DJCline.com
I do not know if Montgomery’s plans will help much with existing corporations. How do you change a corporate culture that thinks polluting, destroying the economy, or killing people is the cost of doing business? Montgomery talked about how many people leave the ethical parts of themselves of at home when they go to work. That must change. Google has a motto of “Don’t be evil.” I thought that was kind of obvious and sad.Â I know one marketing writer who bragged in their spin blog that their company’s executives were not convicted of anything…yet. It implies that not being caught is their virtue and that is nothing to brag about. Text from DJCline.com
Montgomery wants the ethical person to find or start a company that reflects their values and he aims to show the way.
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