Beyond profit: the Wisdom Industry

Interviewed by Quartz Daily Brief, Alain de Botton posits the need for consultants to focus on more than just profit...

... a concept he calls the Wisdom Industry.

Certainly this is a challenge for us all - and in particular for those of us who are in the business of creating environments within which others strive to be creative, happy, fulfilled - and profitable!

Here is an excerpt - where he addresses consultancy:

"The central task for a business is to make a profit. The challenge is to make a profit by doing things which are genuinely good for people and good for societies. We know this is possible because it sometimes happens already.

"However, the level of skill a firm needs in order to profitably pursue the good is very high because they have to outcompete rivals who have a simpler business model. They have to get very efficient at building a market for the things they want to offer; they have to explain their point of view in a compelling way; they have to find staff who deeply understand the vision of the business; they need to tailor their products and services very carefully; they need a strength around innovation.

"In other words they have major strategic and operative challenges—which are the traditional focus of consulting firms. But currently consulting firms are answerable to the bottom line. A wisdom consultancy would be as well—but with this difference: The concern is on how the profit is made as well."

Click here to read the interview in full