In discussing the need for developing a company philosophy rather than just letting it happen, I have selected from successful company experience just five common elements that make a good philosophical foundation for any business. To them, the management of any company or division can add other beliefs that should guide the organization. If they are to be a real part of the philosophy, however, these beliefs should be basic enough to become overriding guidelines to action.

Even without planning or specific effort, any company will gradually develop a philosophy as people observe and learn through trial and error "the way we do things around here." However, it is my conviction that a positive program by top management to build or reshape a sound fundamental philosophy should be the underlying and overriding component of the company’s system of management.

Whatever beliefs top management wants to build into its philosophy must, of course, be demonstrated in practice if they are to take firm root in the minds of people throughout the organization. But to make the guidelines really operative, something more is needed than the power of example. Executives and supervisors at all levels should articulate the company philosophy, relate it to actual situations and problems at hand, and point out to subordinates where their actions square, or fail to square, with the beliefs of the organization. It is through this kind of leadership that a company philosophy for success can be most soundly and securely built.