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The business as a living system

Massimo Mercati

Seeing the business as a living system can profoundly alter how we understand the corporate reality. In this view, the business and its context become mutually dependent: a community among communities. The business no longer exists self-referentially. Instead, only when it completely fulfils its economic and social function does it become a creator of value. Value that goes beyond profit generation and extends to the business’s impact on the environment and on society through the cultural growth of all its participants, coming together to work towards the common good.

This is the theory that Massimo Mercati, CEO of Aboca, is applying to his family business. Founded in 1978 by his father Valentino, Aboca has always distinguished itself through its innovative approach: finding solutions to human health needs in nature while respecting the human body and environment, developing sustainable agricultural models and investing in scientific research.

Through his field experience and study of the relationship between man and nature, Massimo Mercati has extended the systemic vision of life to the sphere of business, viewing the enterprise as a social organisation. When conceived in this way, a business is a project for life in which there is no longer a line between two ethical codes, one for work and the other for private life. However, to make this possible, the entrepreneur must identify the underlying values of their organisation and share them, so that they become a kind of touchstone that will guide the actions of all those who are part of it. As Adriano Olivetti said, “If we follow our spiritual values, material value will come about all by itself”.