Charles Koch on creating value for others and always getting better

The starting point is to understand what capabilities you have that others will value, that you can use to create value for others.

And then to find the opportunities for those capabilities that will create the most opportunity for others and particularly those who will reward you for that value.

So the ideal for business is to maximise the value that you create for others, and your profit would come solely as compensation for that value you’re creating for others, and then to continually improve and add to those capabilities, and look for, based on that, what other opportunities are there for which you can create superior value.

So there are two components then: one is to become preferred partner for all your key constituencies. That starts with customers but includes employees, suppliers, communities and society as a whole.

And the second piece is to continually transform yourself. So our philosophy is if we in a business or you as an individual are working in an area, if you’re the best in the world, it’s not good enough. And particularly today, with rapid improvements in technologies within year or wo you’re going to be obselete if you just rest on your laurels. So you’ve got to be constantly thinking on how do I improve, how do I do things differently, what are the new opportunities.

If we’d just stayed with the crude oil gathering… we’d be out of business now. It’s by applying these principles of human flourishing to create these beneficial cycles focusing on how do I create value for all my constituencies – particularly those who will reward us for the value we create for them – is what has enabled us to do what we’ve done.

Charles Koch – The Tim Ferriss Show #381

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