IBM (NYSE: IBM) was founded on the principle of profit for customers, employees and shareholders, and a responsibility to do something for others. Through an equitable distribution of its profits, the corporation created a stakeholder ecosystem based on enlightened self-interest: the success of one depended on the success of all the others.
Every street should be wide enough to be a two-way street.
Thomas J. Watson Sr., 1942, Endicott, New York
A two-way distribution of profits produced amazing shareholder returns
Tom Watson Sr. believed that employee benefits existed “not because of any philanthropy on the part of myself or my executive staff or the directors and stockholders. … When you add up the amount of money we spend on insurance, vacations with pay, country club, retirement plan, health and accident plan, and so forth, it comes to a large sum. No company could go on if that were philanthropy. … We do it because our people do a better job everywhere.”