Critical to the success of every organization, strategy is not a long planning exercise or document. Strategy can be simple, fun and effective and is founded on a set of five interrelated and powerful choices that positions an organization to win.

ON Strategy

Playing To win

The combination of the stagnation of medium incomes and the rapid rise of high incomes is threatening the future of democratic capitalism. Its predictive future requires building a more robust knowledge, transactional and physical infrastructure for broadly shared prosperity.

ON Democratic Capitalism

When More is Not Better

Integrative thinking is a form of reasoning which allows you to constructively face the tensions of opposing models. Instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, you generate a creative solution. Your solution contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each.

ON Integrative Thinking

Creating Great Choices

Organizations need to incorporate the best of design thinking into their ways of working to unleash innovation and creativity. An organization will be able to counter-balance analytical thinking with intuitive thinking – to enable it to both exploit existing knowledge and create new knowledge. 

ON Design of Business

The Design Of Business

While prevailing theory holds that stock-based compensation perfectly aligns corporate executives’ incentives with those of shareholders, it does the opposite. As a consequence, executives have done brilliantly while shareholders have become increasingly frustrated. Incentives and governance practice needs to be transformed to enable corporations to prosper in a way that better serves society.

ON Incentives & Governance

Fixing the Game

For both social entrepreneurs and corporations, the key tenet of social innovation is finding ways to make the world a better place. My work focuses on building tools for social entrepreneurs to create more powerful models for creating value for society and developing models to guide corporations on a path of productive corporate citizenship.

ON Social Innovation

Getting Beyond Better

DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM

For its first 200 years, the American economy exhibited truly impressive performance. The combination of democratically elected governments and a capitalist system, in which the means of production were mainly in private hands and relatively unfettered markets set prices, production and consumption, worked because the economic life of the average American family got better in the vast majority of those 200 years.

But since the bicentenary, the pattern of outcomes has changed dramatically. Growth in the economic prosperity of the average family in America has slowed to a crawl. At the same time, the prosperity of America’s richest families has grown to a level never seen before. This combination of the stagnation of the average family and the enrichment of the richest Americans threatens American democratic capitalism.

The fundamental problem is that while more of a good thing – efficiency, spurred by division of labor, international trade, scientific management of companies and systematic waste reduction – was beneficial for the economy for two centuries, it has become too much of a good thing. It has inadvertently shifted the shape of our economic outcomes. Rather than being largely bell-shaped, with a large middle class and smaller numbers of rich and poor, the outcomes are becoming increasingly Pareto, meaning that a greater and greater share of the economic benefits accrue to a thin tail of already rich Americans, leaving not enough for prosperity increases of average American families.

More of this will happen, until American democratic capitalism as we know it will fall apart, unless we stop viewing efficiency increases as an unalloyed good. Instead, we need to seek a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. While pressure can helpfully enhance efficiency, it needs to be balanced with friction to strengthen resilience. While connectedness can enhance efficiency, it needs to be balanced with separation to strengthen resilience. To productively manage these balances in our complex adaptive system, we need to keep in mind the whole while working on the component parts, pursue improvement not perfection, and relentlessly tweak instead of attempting to find permanent solutions. This can and will only happen with the efforts and cooperation of citizens, business executives, public policy makers and educators.

on democratic capitalism

 
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