We Don’t Live To Breathe

A lot has been written (and spoken) lately on what is the “Why” of a business. For DEMDACO our Why centers around the word “Ought.” Author C.S. Lewis said human beings possess this curious sense of ought they can’t seem to get rid of. At DEMDACO our Purpose (our Why) is to pursue business the way it Ought to be. For us this Ought brings with it a sense of the responsibility we feel about the very nature of business. Why do businesses exist? To make money? Yes. But is there more? Is there more than a single bottom line?

DEMDACO distribution center in Edgerton, KS

For years business has primarily been viewed through the lens of a financial bottom line. What maximizes shareholder profit? Who are the stakeholders? What’s best for them? Everything else—employee salaries and benefits, charitable donations, involvement in the community, etc. is all filtered through this lens. If it doesn’t directly improve the bottom line then it gets jettisoned. There’s no wonder people have a hard time finding meaning in their work if it’s all about the numbers. Where’s the motivation? In a March 2018 Forbes article 10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need To Know, number 10 states that 53% of Americans are unhappy at work. Along with a growing number of other companies we believe there’s a different way. A better way.

Using Lift the Spirit days to paint tiny homes for Veterans Community Project in Kansas City.

At DEMDACO, we’re committed to the notion that business is not solely a financial endeavor. It is first, and foremost, a human endeavor. This is what fuels our Mission to strive to Lift the Spirit in consumers, in each other, and in our communities. It’s what provides us a fuller view that the work we do includes designing, manufacturing, and selling our products, as well as the work we do with our partner organizations such as the Veterans Community Project or the Salvation Army. All this work helps us live out our mission.

This is why we see our business as a responsibility greater than a financial bottom line. We understand we have to be profitable, but it’s not the reason for our existence. It fuels our existence. It’s what Max De Pree, the former CEO of Hermann-Miller says about profit in his book Leadership Is an Art. “Profit is like air. We don’t live to breathe, but we need it to live.”

We believe our business exists to seek the flourishing of all who interact with us—not just those who purchase our products.

We see it as our responsibility.