I loved Ray Anderson’s Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist. I loved Yvon Chouinard’s Let My People Go Surfing. Now there’s a third book to complete the holy trinity of must-read texts on 21st century-style business thinking (not counting my own Live Long and Prosper, of course!)…
It’s called Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s 50 Greatest Companies, by former P&G GMO, Jim Stengel. And while I haven’t even got beyond the first chapter yet, I already know I’m going to be referring back to its pages time and time again.
I don’t need to know all the data supporting Jim’s thesis (though I’m looking forward to uncovering it). All I need to know is what greeted me on the very first page following the short introduction.
To paraphrase that old line from Jerry McGuire, Jim had me at ‘ideal’:
IDEAL (īˈdē(ə)’al), n. 1. The key to unlock the code for twenty-first-century business success. 2. The only sustainable way to recruit, unite and motivate all the people a business touches, from employees to customers. 3. The most powerful lever a business leader can use to achieve competitive advantage. 4. A business’s essential reason for being, the higher order benefit it brings to the world. 5. The factor connecting core beliefs of the people inside the business with the fundamental human values of the people they serve. 6. Not social responsibility or altruism, but a program for profit and growth based on improving people’s lives.