Saving Business From Itself

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Saving Business From Itself

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The new #ChangetheWorld list highlights companies addressing social problems in core business strategy #sharedvalue
Monday, August 29, 2016 - 6:00am

Greedy. Dishonest. Destructive. Exploitive.

That’s how people describe corporate leaders today. The reputation of business hit an all-time low during the Great Recession and, arguably, it has never recovered. Scandals among banks and auto companies have made things even worse. Not only our business leaders but the role of capitalism itself is being questioned by political leaders of the right and left. Mainstream voices now decry capitalism as a nefarious force that needs to be leashed.

And yet capitalism is the only economic system that has proven to deliver growth, helping lift billions out of poverty and the only economic system that continues to create and maintain millions of jobs that keep the global economy running.

It’s true, though, that capitalism is creating ever more divergent winners and losers in a society that demands more equitable outcomes for all. Capitalism consumes natural and social capital at an unsustainable rate. The mantra of shareholder value has rendered many public companies myopic, pursuing quarterly gains at the expense of long-term value.

So how do we fix it? How do we retain the powerful benefits that capitalism can bring and restore its reputation?

Published last week, this year’s installment of Fortune Magazine’s Change the World List shows the way. These 50 companies and their leaders are willing to cast off decades of conventional thinking to re-envision how their companies are led, invest and grow for the long term. They are creating shared value—making a profit by changing the world for the better.

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Alicia Dunn
+1 (617) 502-6164
Shared Value Initaitive