There are many remarkable quotations about business and quotes on economics available online. What The Wisdom Archive can do is to bring hundreds of them together in the same place. Further, the collection of quotations about business one finds therein is unique because of its searchability, diversity, and utter truthfulness. Capitalism is not given a beautiful gloss, nor is anarchy heralded. Just as wisdom indicates that business is a force for good, it also has the potential to reflect humanity’s dark side. Here is a smattering of assertive and insightful quotations about business and interesting thoughts on economics from the perspective of Values of the Wise:
“As long as we can put some idealism and reverence back on the global agenda, understanding that corporations and institutions have to be a force for positive change, then there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” ~ Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop, Inc.
“Obviously any kind of economic growth which is not related to intrinsic values is neutral or detrimental. The measure of GNP is somehow related to the fierceness of activity in the society but this fierceness may very well have more to do with a lack of ability of the members of the society to engage in meaningful activity than a measure of something humanity should look upon with joy. There is no clear relation to life quality.”
“Every original thinker today is urging a rethinking of the entire system, a retooling of the corporate imagination and the organizational mind so that the products and processes we develop and export around the world support growth, not just financially, but personally, socially, and spiritually.”
“In the 21st century, great companies will figure out how to tap into people’s hearts – their passion and their desires to make a difference through their work. Those companies that link these passions to the generation of innovative ideas will have the capacity to sustain their growth for decades.” ~ Bill George, Former Chairman and CEO, Medtronic Inc.
“For those of us who grew up believing that capitalism is the foundation of democracy and market freedom, it has been a rude awakening to realize that under capitalism, democracy is for sale to the highest bidder and the market is centrally planned by global megacorporations larger than most states.”
“According to research, a company’s performance is at least 30 percent attributable to the corporate culture, where values play out.” ~ Willis Harman and Maya Porter, The New Business of Business
“The concrete, physical reality of inequality is visible to the naked eye and naturally inspires sharp but contradictory political judgments. Peasant and noble, worker and factory owner, waiter and banker: each has his or her own unique vantage point and sees important aspects of how other people live and what relations of power and domination exist between social groups, and these observations shape each person’s judgment of what is and is not just. Hence there will always be a fundamentally subjective and psychological dimension to inequality, which inevitably gives rise to political conflict that no purportedly scientific analysis can alleviate.” ― Thomas Piketty,
“Knowledge workers — the best of whom have significant choice in the place and terms of their employment -want a sense of significance. What is the meaning of our work? What difference or larger contribution does it make to others? How do we measure success?” ~ Warren Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the Marshall School of Business
Many insightful and apt quotations about business can be found in The Wisdom Archive – always free.
“Whatever its effect on the economic balance sheet, the Slow philosophy delivers the things that really make us happy: good health, a thriving environment, strong communities and relationships, freedom from perpetual hurry.”
“Our actions are based on deeply-held values. We’re all interconnected, and as we help others, we cannot help but help ourselves. Creating a consonance of values with employees and customers builds loyalty and even more value.” ~ Ben Cohen, Founder, Ben & Jerry’s
“I’ve always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, and corporate executives who talked of how in America if you worked hard, you would become rich. The meaning of that was, If you were poor, it was because you hadn’t worked hard enough. I knew that was a lie – about my father, and about millions of others – men and women who worked harder than anyone.”
“Business now understands that ethics help in risk and reputation management, and there is a serious reconsideration of decision-making and strategic choices in business from an ethics and values viewpoint.” ~ Sander Tideman, Founder, Spirit in Business (SiB)
“The core premise of the financial model that now runs the world is simple: money is smarter than people, so if rule-makers would simply grant financial capital the right to flow freely worldwide, global poverty would evaporate like dewdrops in the morning sun.”The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century
“The capitalist workplace is one of the most profoundly undemocratic institutions on the face of the Earth. Workers have no say over decisions affecting them. If workers sat on the board of directors of democratically operated self-managed enterprises, they wouldn’t vote for the wildly unequal distribution of profits to benefit a few and for cutbacks for the many.” ~ Richard D. Wolff, author of Rethinking Marxism
“Business can be a force for good, and you can earn profit for doing good.” ~ Pierre Omidyar, Founder of e-Bay
“When you own your choices, you own their consequences.” ~ Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
“While race certainly has its role, American poverty is most firmly rooted in a class system—a system maintained by an economy that allocates the wealth of society to those who already have the most. One of the ways that wealth is created is to ensure that unskilled workers are not paid a living wage.”
“It is our very connectedness that ignites and unleashes our creative powers, and programs that foster awareness and relationships are the key to unlocking the wealth inside the corporate body.” ~ Jan Phillips, author of The Art of Original Thinking
“We want to tell the story in a way that other companies can see that you can make money and do the right thing by taking care of your people.” ~ Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee
“The existence of individual private property is responsible for the immense inequalities of wealth and income in the world today. Small numbers of individuals hold large amounts of property, whether it takes the form of land, factories, mines, or intellectual ideas. Billions, on the other hand, possess no property of any sort and are forced to subsist on wages earned in the market for labor, which in the last century has increasingly turned against them.”
Want to find your own quotations about business or quotes about economic systems? Look no farther than The Wisdom Archive, home to hundreds.
“One of the factors in where you want to work is how proud you are to work there.” ~ Godfrey Sullivan, President and CEO, Hyperion
“I think that business people leading by example can spread better practices and can be a positive force for change. I really do.” ~ Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
“Real change would mean grappling with a deep, multi-decade shift from a society in which the state, the private sector and the individual all shared responsibility for economic risks to one in which individuals are increasingly left on their own to pay for the trappings of a middle-class life — healthcare, education, and retirement — while corporations capture a record share of the country’s prosperity without necessarily reinvesting in the common good.”
“The top priority in business – as corporations become the most powerful institution on the planet – seems to be the re-education of leaders. How can we effectively help competitive, short-term-results-oriented business executives to transform their mindset, challenge their assumptions about the purpose of the corporations they lead, challenge their own purpose in life, raise their consciousness…?” ~ Oscar Motomura, Founder and CEO of the Amana-Key Group
“The very high concentration of capital is explained mainly by the importance of inherited wealth and its cumulative effects….”
“Economic opportunity is not necessarily, but is easily, equated with blaming the losers—it’s their own fault if they don’t have a job, money, and property.”
“Nothing would more quickly and definitively reduce U.S. income inequality than allowing every worker in all businesses to participate in deciding the range of incomes from one worker to another. They would never do what is nowadays a matter of normality: give one person millions, in some cases billions, while others have barely enough to make a living.” ~ Richard D. Wolff, author of Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism
“It is crucial to keep organizational purpose and values in the spotlight. The values come to life not through speeches and plaques, but as we hear the stories of other employees who embody those values….” ~ Margaret Wheatley, author and thought-leader
“A holistic approach is a recognition of the homogeneity and wholeness of life. Life is not fragmented; it is not divided. It cannot be divided into spiritual and material, individual and collective. We cannot create compartments in life – political, economic, social, environmental. Whatever we do or don’t do touches the wholeness.”
I hope you enjoyed this fascinating and sometimes-critical look at capitalism and its effects. You might find it worthwhile to listen to this podcast on capitalism, in which you are sure to hear a few trenchant quotations about business and principles of economics that will contribute to your personal growth (scroll down to “America Beyond Capitalism”). Here is another individual as erudite and compelling as Professor Gar Alperovitz when it comes to critiquing capitalism, Richard Wolff. He has impeccable credentials and is very active.
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