Weekend Leadership Reading: 10/9/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about the Business Roundtable, shareholders, stakeholders, and changing views of the purpose of a corporation.

On August 19, 2019, the Business Roundtable redefined its definition of corporate purpose. Instead of shareholder primacy, they advocated something more like stakeholder capitalism, and pledged to work toward it. You can review their revised “Statement of the Purpose of a Corporation” here. I covered that in Weekend Reading for September 6, 2019. This week we look at how things are going, a year on.

From Kristin Toussaint: The Business Roundtable’s pledge didn’t translate to action

“The endless crises of 2020 were a perfect time to test whether companies were really ready to end shareholder primacy. They haven’t done great.”

From Kathy Miller Perkins: Business Roundtable Leaders One Year Later: Follow Your Purpose And Serve Society

“Yesterday KKS Advisors and TCP released a report-card evaluating how the one-hundred-eighty-one companies whose CEOs signed the statement addressed these commitments over the past year. The COVID-19 & Inequality: A Test of Corporate Purpose study revealed companies’ lack of progress in acting on their pledges”

From Peter S. Goodman: Stakeholder Capitalism Gets a Report Card. It’s Not Good

“The pandemic and the movement for racial justice have tested corporate pledges to elevate social concerns alongside shareholder interests. A new study finds companies are failing to follow through.”

From McKinsey Quarterly: Hubert Joly on leading with purpose

“Best Buy’s former chairman and CEO reflects on a business’s reason for being by defining it around purpose and humanity, the link to competitive advantage, and managing shareholders and stakeholders during a crisis and beyond.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story.

From David Gelles: Whole Foods Founder: ‘The Whole World Is Getting Fat’

“John Mackey, who espouses a high-minded version of capitalism, sold his upscale grocery chain to Amazon.”

Book Suggestions

The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism by Hubert Joly

Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit by Alex Edmans

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