generosity is an advantage

by Corey Kohn


Looking for a strategic advantage for your organization this year? A way to set your company aside, to differentiate it from the rest? To find that kind of success, consider further cultivating generosity as a core component of your business.

What does that mean, in practical terms? As we know, generosity is the inclination to give without any expectation of return, to be open-handed and hearted, to be unselfish, unstingy, broadminded and inviting. As a company, that can look a lot of different ways. Here are some examples:

  • Generosity with employees - Pay more. Offer substantive benefits. Open an option to ownership. Prioritize transparency.
  • Generosity with customers - Offer them more than they expect. Allow them into your process.
  • Generosity with competitors - Share business and market tips. Send over customers that are better suited to them. Collaborate.
  • Generosity with community - Contribute to the local culture and society with time, money, space, events, volunteers, etc.
  • Generosity with self - Prioritize the health, sanity and wellbeing of yourself and the internal operations of the company. Meet yourself where you are.

These expressions of generosity may simply seem like the right thing to do. No doubt that's true, but they also provide a real and meaningful advantage in navigating the business landscape. While generosity doesn't expect anything in return, it does generate a wheel of wealth in the form of "what comes around, go around." And this cycle provides both measurable and untold value. Because it's a differentiator and indicator of integrity, generosity attracts both good employees and good clients. In that way generosity reliably contributes to organizational longevity and sustained profits.

These profits may be financial or represent other kinds of capital. For instance, practicing generosity may generate value reflected in some or all of these ways:

  • the strength and wealth of the local economy,
  • the number of families and individuals that are supported by the business,
  • the degree of cultural vibrancy that is supported by the business,
  • the intellectual, technical, environmental or social innovation and advancement cultivated by the business,
  • the goodwill and social capital generated by the business.

Generosity can take a lot of different forms and look a lot of different ways, but it's a one-size-fits-all method for giving your business a strategic advantage. Magnanimity will boost your business by:

  • attracting and retaining stellar employees,
  • cultivating collaborative partnerships and knowledge-building with competitors,
  • magnetizing and preserving lasting relationships with clients and customers,
  • supporting internal and personal resilience,
  • inviting various expressions of capitalization and value.

No matter how much or how little it may feel there is to go around, there is always some way to give. There is no downside to creating wealth in that way. And, in any case, regardless of the business benefits associated with generosity, cultivating it as a core tenant of a company will inevitably increase happiness. You can't go wrong with that.