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Heed The Pope: Eliminate False Tradeoffs In Creating Jobs For Veterans

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/10/2015 George Bradt

The Pope just told us we can (and should) manage business in a way that produces wealth and improves the world at the same time.

"Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.
- Pope Francis, in his address to the U.S. Congress September 24, 2015

This gets at one aspect of strategy, which is all about the creation and allocation of resources to the right place in the right way at the right time over time. If you've got enough resources, your focus should be on allocating them to run your business effectively and efficiently.
But, if you're growing, you need to think about creating resources. This may involve generating new ideas, raising capital, hiring people, acquiring equipment, software, systems and other assets to turn your ideas from theoretically elegant to practically useful. Think in terms of future capability planning - looking out at what you'll need in the future and then figuring out how bridge the gap between that and your current reality.
But nothing creates wealth and improves the world until it is put into action.
Jim Hart, screenwriter of movies including "Hook" told a recent gathering that,
"I'm a job creator. When I write "The End", that's the beginning of work for thousands of people.

Hart's ideas do create jobs. The same is true for entrepreneurs. Their ideas, implemented well, can produce wealth and improve the world. When those entrepreneurial ventures grow up and become mid-market companies, innovation meets scale and they can create even more wealth and make an even bigger impact on improving the world.

This will be one of the main topics of discussion at this month's CEO Connection Mid-Market Convention at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. This is the third annual convention like this where CEOs of mid-market companies "Come together to identify actionable items from the mid-market perspective that can impact the world." [Note I'm on CEO Connection's board.]
One of the programs with the highest potential impact on the world is the mid-market jobs for veterans program. "CEO Connection Connecting Veterans to Success" is the mid-market's first veteran job placement program that actively connects mid-market corporations with veteran job candidates. The program was created to connect mid-market companies to quality talent, close the veteran unemployment gap and provide veterans with the opportunity to pursue successful civilian careers. It challenges CEO Connection's mid-market members to hire a total of 100,000 veterans by 2020.
As CEO Connection's Staci Smith put it,

"There is a war for talent. Mid-market companies are competing with larger companies for the best and brightest. Veterans are highly trained quality workers. The CEO Connection Connecting Veterans Success Program serves the enlightened self-interest of mid-market companies by providing them with hiring resources they cannot get on their own while helping veterans find jobs.


The point is not that all of us should devote ourselves to creating jobs for veterans. The point is that as we invest behind good ideas that produce wealth, we'll need to create, build or assemble the resources required to grow our businesses. In doing that we should leverage all the available tools - including the CEO Connection Connecting Veterans Success Program.

Implications

Choosing between producing wealth and improving the world is a false tradeoff. Instead we should strive to produce wealth in a way that improves the world, heeding the Pope by running each organization so that it sees "the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good." Good for veterans, business and world.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

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