The Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World

Judy Samuelson. Berrett-Koehler, $27.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-5230-8996-3
If businesses want to thrive, they need to “value the real contributors—including workers and nature,” according to this earnest guide. Samuelson, founder of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, argues that the business world is changing at a “dizzying” pace, and aims, with her six rules for ethical business, to point organizations toward “a sustainable future.” Each rule gets its own chapter and is presented alongside the outdated thinking it’s designed to replace. For instance, the first rule, “Reputation, trust, and other intangibles drive business value,” supplants the belief that “hard assets determine firm value,” while another rule, “employees give voice to risk and competitive advantage,” takes over for the outdated idea that “labor is a cost to be minimized.” Samuelson’s appeals for corporate responsibility (global business “is the most influential institution of our age, akin to the Church in the Middle Ages”) are backed by examples of companies that have heeded the call for social and ecological responsibility and either thrived (Southwest Airlines) or floundered (Boeing). Though Samuelson’s call to action feels familiar, her voice is encouraging and optimistic. Business leaders struggling to keep up would do well to give this a look. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/14/2020
Release date: 01/12/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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