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The rules of business are changing dramatically. The Aspen Institute's Judy Samuelson describes the profound shifts in attitudes and mindsets that are redefining our notions of what constitutes business success.
Dynamic forces are conspiring to clarify the new rules of real value creation--and to put the old rules to rest. Internet-powered transparency, more powerful worker voice, the decline in importance of capital, and the complexity of global supply chains in the face of planetary limits all define the new landscape. As executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, Judy Samuelson has a unique vantage point from which to engage business decision makers and identify the forces that are moving the needle in both boardrooms and business classrooms.
Samuelson lays out how hard-to-measure intangibles like reputation, trust, and loyalty are imposing new ways to assess risk and opportunity in investment and asset management. She argues that "maximizing shareholder value" has never been the sole objective of effective businesses while observing that shareholder theory and the practices that keep it in place continue to lose power in both business and the public square. In our globalized era, she demonstrates how expectations of corporations are set far beyond the company gates--and why employees are both the best allies of the business and the new accountability mechanism, more so than consumers or investors.
Samuelson's new rules offer a powerful guide to how businesses are changing today--and what is needed to succeed in tomorrow's economic and social landscape.
About the Author
Judy Samuelson is vice president at the Aspen Institute and founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. She previously worked in legislative affairs in California and banking in New York's garment center and ran the Ford Foundation's office of program-related investments. Samuelson blogs for Quartz at Work and is director of the Financial Health Network.
“The timing of this book is prescient given the challenges of the past year, and it is a concise and interesting read.”
—The Financial Times
“… encouraging and optimistic… Samuelson’s appeals for corporate responsibility ...are backed by examples of companies that have heeded the call for social and ecological responsibility and either thrived (Southwest Airlines) or floundered (Boeing). Business leaders struggling to keep up would do well to give this a look.”
“... a timely new book.” —New York Times DealBook
“While you can’t put a price tag on Samuelson’s intertwined Six New Rules, adopting them provides a path to developing a broadly inclusive approach to value creation.”
—Jim Pawlak, Hartford Business Journal
“In the two centuries since Adam Smith, businesses have become the most powerful institutions on earth. Samuelson crystallizes what we need to know and how business must move in the 21st century to avoid sowing the seeds of our own destruction. This book shows us a path forward.”
—Sally Blount, former Dean, Kellogg School of Management, and CEO, Catholic Charities of Chicago
“Samuelson’s call for new rules will be embraced by the best and smartest leaders, those who see the potential of business to be a profound force for good in the world.”
—Dan Heath, coauthor of Upstream, Switch, and Made to Stick
“Judy Samuelson is asking the right questions and giving the right advice at the perfect time. As more business leaders realize that the old rules of operating solely for the bottom line are woefully insufficient for this moment, Judy’s ‘New Rules’ offer an urgent and actionable call for redefining what it means to create value across our communities.”
—Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
“Six New Rules of Business upends our assumptions about value creation—and through vibrant case studies offers both inspiration for change and practical guidance for leaders building businesses for our collective future.”
—Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
“Finding a new balance between positive total societal impact and shareholder value is one of the defining challenges for business in the decades ahead. Judy Samuelson highlights how evolved business models can be built to place equal importance on employees, communities, and nature. Through examples, anecdotes, and a call to action, she provides a strong framework for business leaders.”
—Rich Lesser, CEO, Boston Consulting Group
“Only with an appreciation for why business works the way it does can we begin to dismantle the systemic forces that business leaders face when trying to build a competitive organization and serve society. Transformation is never easy, and as Samuelson’s narrative reveals, the leaders who have made a difference have done so because of their moral imagination and courage.”
—Professor Linda A. Hill, Faculty Chair, Leadership Initiative, Harvard Business School, and coauthor of Collective Genius
“This short, engaging book translates the discussion of corporate purpose into actionable principles for corporate executives.”
—John Kay, economist, coauthor of Radical Uncertainty, and founding Dean, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford