Right before I left for my Caribbean cruise earlier this month, I grabbed some magazines piled high on my office desk and stuffed them into my briefcase. I figured with all that potential free time at sea, I could get caught up on reading about the latest Big Ideas in business.
I then proceeded directly to my awesome vacation and promptly ignored that heavy briefcase. Which was the appropriate thing to do, of course. However, by day five of my empty-headed junket, I was ready to engage my mind. After applying one more round of sun screen, I reached down from my sunny lounge chair on the deck and pulled a random issue of Harvard Business Review from my briefcase stash, turned to the cover story and started reading.
The first few lines were like a smack up the side of my sunburned head. The essay was called, “How to Fix Capitalism,” by famous Harvard Business School Professor and strategy guru, Michael Porter, and he opens with this bleak assessment: Business is increasingly viewed as a major cause of social, environmental and economic problems. Ouch.
He’s right. Levels of public trust in business have fallen to all-time lows, probably not seen since, oh, I don’t know, maybe medieval feudalism? Instead, Porter suggests, the perception out there is that business prospers at the expense of the broader community. For most companies, this reality is driven by the short-term quest to please investors with ever-increasing profits.
To continue reading and see where I am going with all of this big-headed talk, click here to head over to The High Calling!