Thursday, August 27, 2009

My bank and my goal to heal the world...

What exactly is self-actualization? Located at the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy, he described this high-level need in the following way:

"What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."

In the previous 4 posts, we discussed how banks can fulfill the physiological, security, psychological, individualization and self-esteem needs. In this last post, I will talk about my wish-list in how a bank can help in the greater good for the society.
  • Where to invest: Currently I have no transparency on how where my deposit money gets investment. I want to know and "choose" where my bank can invest my money: arts, developing countries, green sector, infrastructure. The rates may differ based on the return and risk associated with each sector.

  • Where to earn: I want to do business with a bank that cares about me and the planet we live in. So I want to know the energy impact my bank is having on the environment. GreenChoice Bank is leading the way in this sector with LEED certified buildings, near paperless back office, employee incentives on environmentally friendly choices.

  • Who to give: Banks are in the business of making money. But I want my bank to earmark a certain percentage to offer loans and deposits at more attractive rates to customers and businesses who are investing in Green or community development projects.

  • Where to spend: Last but not the least, I want my bank to be engaged in community development and spend part of their profits to give to non-profits and the disadvantaged.
That said, banks will think about all of this if it means more customers and more profits. Do you think a bank can create sustainable advantage over its competition by focusing on our self-actualization needs?

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