Definition: Karma noun: action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation.
I am a strong believer in giving back to the community. We should all do it as individuals and businesses. Giving back just plain feels right. Whether you sponsor the little league team, or allow your workers to volunteer around town, or if you have a full blown corporate cause marketing effort, giving back to your community is pretty cool…it helps those in need, it gives people a sense of purpose, it makes your workers proud, and it connects you to the community. And as a bonus, I think it’s good for your business karma.
I do. Now I am not a religious guy…but I really think there is something to this whole business karma thing. I think that giving back to your community is smart business. It builds our brands and drives consumer awareness and loyalty. Nice. But since I can’t really measure this benefit, I wonder what it is I really believe in… maybe Karma? All kidding aside, karma is simply causation…good begets good, bad begets bad, blah blah blah. Not surprising to me…it’s what’s been said in so many ways throughout history:
- Buddists: “Everything that you have done has lead up to what you are now. Everything you do now will lead up to what you will be.”
- Christians: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
- Moms: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”
But it is a little surprising that so many businesses don’t seem to get the “karmic” connection between business generousity and business success. The karmic reactions of customers may be tough to measure, but they are definite and hardwired: generosity begets loyalty. duh. Here too history is rife with examples:
- Mother Teresa, took care the sick, poor and dying, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Google wanted to help people find stuff on the web more easily, gave away a lot of free stuff and became one of the highest market cap companies in the world.
- Martha Stewart, sold Imclone stock on a “tip” and saved $51,000, but derailed a billion$ empire
You may not believe that Karma is a cosmic business force, but just in case it is, figure out how your business can give back to the community and maybe place a little karmic hedge bet to be on the safe side.