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People Work To Make A Contribution

To mark the birthday of HP co-founder David Packard, Gizmodo featured a speech he gave to his managers in 1960 that describes HP’s corporate culture, famously nicknamed “The HP Way“. Here is one passage that I found particularly inspiring (emphasis mine):

“We have looked at the company and found it exists to make a contribution – not just to make money. I think we can say the same about the people in the company. The individual works, partly to make money, of course, but we should also realize that the individual who is doing a worthwhile job is working because he feels he is accomplishing something worthwhile. This is important in your association with these individuals. You know that those people you work with that are working only for money are not making any real contribution. I want to emphasize then that people work to make a contribution and they do this best when they have a real objective when they know what they are trying to achieve and are able to use their own capabilities to the greatest extent.

With all the discussion about how to kick-start the economy and create a better environment for business, I wish more business and government leaders would remember that people work for better reasons than to simply make money…

For more information

Link to Gizmodo post: http://gizmodo.com/5634378/the-hp-way-how-bill-hewlett-and-i-built-our-company

Excerpted from the business classic “The HP Way”: http://www.amazon.com/HP-Way-Hewlett-Business-Essentials/dp/0060845791

The text of “The HP Way”: http://www.hpalumni.org/hp_way.htm

Image: An HP dual-beam oscilloscope from the 1960’s. Image by Todd Lappin via Flickr
Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/telstar/2116569398/
Used under Creative Commons 2.0 license

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