Science has been confirming the notion that people are hard-wired for generosity. Certain parts of the brain light up when we donate to a worthy charity, concluded a study by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman, PhD., of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. This type of giving and the positive response it garners is not limited to donating to your favorite cause. In the business world, generosity can dramatically improve your company.
“The real measure of a person and a company is not what they take from the world, but what they give back,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of German software corporation SAP AG, noting that empathy and teamwork are keys to success in the world of business.
Innovation, he found, happens when you have empathy for the user of your product or service.
“It’s having that complete single-minded passion for the customers and what they want. You want to create an experience for them that is unmatched, as opposed to creating products to make money. If you satisfy the fantasies of the user, you’ll make money," McDermott added. "But you’ll make money for the right reason, and it will scale a lot better. What we think is that every good innovation began with the customer in mind.”
View more on the topic of selfless giving by What Makes a Hero author Elizabeth Svoboda.