Corporate Social Impact Books To Take To The Beach – Forbes

Many proponents of purpose-driven corporate leadership feared that the pandemic would slow down the movement toward multi-stakeholder capitalism, butt has not been the case judging by the number of books being published supporting that world view.
If you are fascinated by this topic as I am, here are three books worthy of adding to your summer reading list:
The Heart Of Business by Hubert Joly — Educated and trained as a hardcore advocate of increasing shareholder value as the sine qua non of management, Joly had undergone a major philosophical transformation by the time he took on the challenge of saving Best Buy from bankruptcy as CEO in 2012.
The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly
In The Heart of Business, Joly lays out a management philosophy that prioritizes finding a company’s noble purpose and prioritizing people over the traditional approach of starting out with a highly rational strategy to maximize profit.
It’s a highly readable book that combines great anecdotes of what it took to avert disaster at Best Buy, powerful reflections on Joly’s personal transformation from a numbers guy to a leader who emphasized getting the culture right and tips to help readers apply to their own work the principles Joly espouses.
Change For Good by Paul Klein — Far from a corporate insider like Joly, Paul Klein has spent much of the last 35 years as a consultant trying to help companies and causes collaborate to create positive social impact.
In Change for Good, Klein examines the evolution of such cross-sector collaboration and the inherent tensions in our far from perfect world in which companies can simultaneously responsible and irresponsible.
Klein argues that companies must move beyond what he calls “corporate social responsibility light” (in which companies engage in pro-social activity only to appear responsible) to attack social problems more directly through a process that engages people with lived experience of social problems in identifying potential solutions.
Tomorrow’s Capitalist: My Search For The Soul Of Business by Alan Murray — This just-issued book leverages the author’s long journalism career and experience with many CEOs to argue that there has been a major shift in the seriousness with which such leaders treat the relationship between corporations and social issues.
Murray reports that over the last decade he noticed more and more CEOs stating publicly that businesses had to have a bigger role in dealing with serious societal issues. Existential threats such as climate change and inequality required them to take a longer-term and broader view if there was going to be a viable world for them to conduct business in the future.
Tomorrow’s Capitalist offers a look behind the curtain at why and how so many corporate leaders are moving to a multi-stakeholder point of view in the way they are managing their enterprises.

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