The forces of change are gaining strength. Take note of these recent events: 1) Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff writes a New York Times opinion piece stating “The current system has led to profound inequality. To fix it, we need businesses and executives to value purpose alongside profit.” 2) Activist investment firm Engine No 1. is formed based on the “belief that a company’s ability to create long-term shareholder value depends on the investments it makes in jobs, workers, communities, and the environment.”.3) Just Capital releases the results of a survey showing that “Nearly 80% of Americans expect corporate leaders to continue to speak out on social issues over the next four years”.
If you believe that the corporate world is not starting to undergo a profound transformation, then you haven’t been listening. Society’s attitudes are building to a crescendo that will change the way businesses conceive of their mission and the way they operate. This crescendo is coming from the swell of our collective exhaustion with the business-as-usual, overriding focus on immediate growth and profits. There is an alternative… another side to corporate growth… one that grows with purpose and responsibility to society.
In the new book The Other Side of Growth: An Innovator’s Responsibilities in an Emerging World, nine experienced innovators from around the world have come together to share their perspectives on purpose-driven innovation. They ask business leaders pointed questions about who benefits from our innovations and about what safeguards we’re putting into place to ensure our innovations are used for good, and not for harm. Going well beyond Corporate Social Responsibility and stakeholder capitalism, these authors point us very clearly to deeper questions that we need to be asking.
Watch an interview with Larry Schmitt discussing the first chapter of the book – Purpose-Driven Innovation
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