Imagine a new way

Whilst I am getting ready for teaching in my Innovation and Entrepreneurship module in the Coventry MBA, I reopened one of the books that have been a source of inspiration over the last years: Reimagining Capitalism. How Business Can Save the World (I have a Penguin edition paid £20), by Rebecca Henderson. A colleague from Harvard, she focuses on how companies can make a positive difference in the world.

The book carries a straightforward message: organisations need to work for social good and to do this they need to shift from maximising the value for shareholders to producing value for stakeholders.

The basis of her thinking is a strong interest in the type of society we are nurturing and how corporations can change their business models, that is, how they produce, deliver and retain value, in the interest of the many, not the few.

“Nowhere in the world are firms legally required
to maximize investor returns.”

That is, at the same time, a moral proposition, from the perspective of an organisation, and an ethical proposition at a systemic level. In other words, if everybody will behave then the world could become a better place. “In summary, self-regulation is a potentially powerful way to mobilize the world’s business community in support of creating collective shared value.”

It could sound naïve, especially at times whereby corporations keep protecting what made them rich. Nevertheless, it makes a point, that is, the business ethics element plays a pivotal role in trying to address the most pressing contemporary challenges.

Photo by Polina Kondrashova on Unsplash. A 3D artist and designer from Kyiv, Ukraine and part of Candybober Agency – a branding design agency working with sustainable brands that care about people & planet – she says about her passion: “I turn the language of words into visual material shapes, and animate them into a project.”