Sunday, May 13, 2007


Business and Society

I sent a message to my manager this evening including the HBS article, Strategy and Society, I mentioned in a post I made about a week ago to indicate my interest in sustainable business. I asked for his input on the article and what he believes our company's corporate management might think of an effort like this for us. I must admit that composing this message was a bit of a challenge. After all, my "functional" role within the company is to manage a region to meet revenue targets. What am I doing spending time contemplating the long-term strategic implications of climate change and responsible business on my employer?
On the one hand, I can see a potential reaction to a "rank-and-file middle manager" proposing a complete rethink of the corporation's focus and its role in society as ludicrous. One the other hand, if a "rank-and-file middle manager" has the audacity to spend his free time studying and thinking about the potential for sustainable business to make the company more competitive (and therefore more secure as an employer) , perhaps he's a more valuable asset to the company. Dare I say, and "change agent"? Perhaps an intrapreneur?
The reality is that I feel a deep commitment to determining how we can guide business to become restorative forces in our culture. I fear for the future generations' inheritance of the natural world, and though I often wish for a simple rural life, opting-out of our capitalist society, I feel some sort of responsibility to help change it.

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