Neoliberalism Begets Neofeudalism


I came across three excellent reads that I thought were worth sharing.  Not much for me to add other than to express my wholehearted agreement with the ideas expressed in each of these articles.

  1. Henry Blodgett It’s A Sad Comment On The State Of America That Words Like “Fair” And “Share” Are Now Insults

  2. George Monbiot Break the grip of corporate power to secure our future

  3. Umair Haque How to Fix Your Soul

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The CSR Commitment Pyramid


Image by: Nestlé

Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter claims that “proponents of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) have used four arguments to make their case: moral obligation, sustainability, license to operate, and reputation.” (Porter & Kramer, 2006)

  • Moral Obligation, deals with something that Professor Timothy Weiskel refers to as “the oughtness of things.”  Porter suggests this is where “companies have a duty to be good citizens and to ‘do the right thing.’” (Porter & Kramer, 2006) Continue reading

Unless…


We just returned from watching The Lorax which was a big hit for our crew.  We frequently read two of Dr. Seuss’ books (among others), The Lorax and The Bippolo Seed, to our boys.  Both books act as cautionary tales which warn against the dangers of wanton greed.  We’ll see how the lessons will take with the boys, but I’m hoping it will help put them on a good path.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. -Mahatma Gandhi Continue reading

Are You Inhibiting Greatness?


I just watched the following montage of Pixar’s flicks, which got me thinking about what it is that’s so different about the firm.  What enables them to produce hit after hit when most firms struggle for a fraction of their success?  Multiple directors have led their different projects and certainly players have changed, so what is the common thread of success?

I think it’s likely a culture thing.  Sure, you need talent, but that’s table stakes. (There are countless firms with great talent that pull up well short on delivery.)  I expect the difference here is that Pixar gives people the room needed to be insanely great.  Gary Hamel provides clarity in his latest article in the Harvard Business Review, “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers.”

Finally, there’s the cost of tyranny. The problem isn’t the occasional control freak; it’s the hierarchical structure that systematically disempowers lower-level employees. For example, as a consumer you have the freedom to spend $20,000 or more on a new car, but as an employee you probably don’t have the authority to requisition a $500 office chair. Narrow an individual’s scope of authority, and you shrink the incentive to dream, imagine, and contribute.

‎The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. But he must direct himself, and he must direct himself towards performance and contribution, that is, toward effectiveness. -Peter Drucker

For an interesting, and very different take on how to organize a firm, I recommend checking out Luc Galoppin’s Social Architecture Manifesto on Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation Exchange.  Luc’s “management hack” is a well thought out offering on how to better organize for the knowledge economy.  Check it out!