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The evil and the non-evil

While most business decision-makers are focusing on somehow “getting through 2021 unscathed” and getting business back on track, there are the “brave” and proactive ones who are venturing further. There are more and more news reports and information about companies that are preparing to conquer the market and are taking strategic steps that have been postponed for years. What is the reason for this? They can now make even the most embarrassing changes without any major “circus”.

When there is a crisis

In a non-crisis period, it is harder to make decisions that will make people resent you for whatever reason. It is usually important for companies to act as “good employers”, to stay in people’s minds this way. People are cautious, especially about issues concerning the workforce. We do not need to analyse how when a large company lays people off en masse, or a smaller company significantly reduces its workforce compared to its size, a social response is triggered. On the one hand, there are the poor, exploited workers who are put out on the street overnight, making their lives impossible. On the other hand, are the profit-oriented companies and company owners, for whom nothing seems to be enough and want more. Who will the others support in this war? I mean the public opinion, media, and people. There are superhero movies in which we also root for the evildoer, but Hollywood only makes one of those films every ten years or so. That is why the need for concrete efficiency is perishing on the employers’ side, because that will sooner or later mean hostile territory for everyone. Moreover, if decision-makers are employees themselves, why should they betray their own? So, there is an implicit agreement on welfare, and the task of the employer side will be to provide employees’ workplace, but not in a way that is too profit driven. There is nothing wrong with that, because there are public programmes for this, and the companies that take advantage of these programmes are very much obliged to meet these conditions. However, this process works only until there is a real crisis. I am sure that everyone has noticed that when a crisis hits the economy – and we have seen this before – a significant number of jobs are lost in a very short period. Often before it becomes clear how much damage will actually be done to the economy. Often, there are rapid job losses in areas that are not directly affected by the crisis. This shows that many jobs are just waiting for a crisis to end them. Do you feel the grotesque style of this sentence?

Strategic shifts

Are those people who can immediately react in this situation considered good businesspeople? Or are they the ones for whom this situation does not trouble? The ones who never find themselves in a situation when they have to employ unnecessary staff? Which is the right direction? Complete honesty and putting the interests of the company first? Or striking a balance between social and company interests? We could say that the answer depends very much on the economic sector. What are the duties and responsibilities of a modern company owner? The social attitude in a crisis is interesting. Nobody feels sorry for companies and company owners. No wonder, they are the evil ones! But is it right that we force people who want to and know how to do business into this role? What will happen if no one wants to be evil? What will happen if everyone wants to work for a company as an employee? But there will be no companies because there will be no evil people to own them. Of course, this is just a theoretical or utopian remark. Is it really? Figures are now available about the current crisis that clearly show that entrepreneurship has fallen dramatically. Headhunter figures are showing that entrepreneurs, former company owners, have started to look for secure, stable employment. We should be happy! There are fewer and fewer “evil” people in the world. But should we be happy that there are fewer “evil” people in the world?