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Connect: How companies succeed by engaging radically with society My take Working in natural resources, I found this book very valuable reading, though am somewhat less sanguine about its conclusion that a radical transformation in public trust is so readily on offer My view is that people are inherently lazy and find changing their views inconvenient Categorically casting big business as shady saves a lot of mental spadework of figuring out who are the good and bad actors Even investors with stake in big business often seem inclined to call it a necessary My take Working in natural resources, I found this book very valuable reading, though am somewhat less sanguine about its conclusion that a radical transformation in public trust is so readily on offer My view is that people are inherently lazy and find changing their views inconvenient Categorically casting big business as shady saves a lot of mental spadework of figuring out who are the good and bad actors Even investors with stake in big business often seem inclined to call it a necessary evil without any substantiation, willingly calling themselves complicit in the dubious enterprise that s popular to hate So while I agree with the risks and prescriptions found in this book, I don t think that any corporate social connecting, however genuine, deep and radical , will culturally cleanse business of its Shylock ness in the public imagination Maybe though, there could be an enough impact at the margins to bolster enough good will for one company to weather some storms of public disdain, where others might sink and in business I guess that s enough.If nothing else this book gives a thorough accounting of the fact that at some point, most CEOs begin to careabout the moral stature of their legacies than they do the profits anyways, so following these prescriptions seems a sure enough way for those big fish to get themselves on the right side of history, if only in their self interest.What s the book about People in business tend to adopt a patronizing attitude to those who complain about corporate behaviour Critics they believe do not understand how things work in the real World Society on the other hand has lost sight of the good that business does Governments are caught somewhere between the two.This book, written by former BP CEO aims to find a way for business to escape the historical trappings of society s distrust towards it, by better contributing to society The book was written with the insights of McKinsey researchers who looked at the long run results of integrating social concerns into core business strategy, and the risks companies run by not doing so It is part history of corporate social responsibility, meditation on business strategy, the failures of standard CSR, and evidence driven manifesto for where companies should go in the future The conclusion The bottom line Focusing on authenticity and integrating societal concerns deeply into commercial strategy has the capacity to dislodge the historical distrust society has held business in, improve companies bottom line, and ability to survive public relations crises in the long run value at stake from plausible government interventions represent 1 3 of corporate profits The top line Connecting effectively can set companies apart through developing new revenue streams and reduced regulatory risk to reputational enhancement, market access and lower resource costs The shares of companies which connect effectively outperform those of their competitors bythan 2 percent every year Strategies to note Map the world Analyze stakeholders as precisely as customers, understanding trends and discontinuities, and quantifying the value at stake from external relationships Identify value at stake Translating societal issues and interventions into monetary estimates imbues connected leadership with the necessary rigour Track your context That includes the macroeconomic environment, attitudes towards industry, expectations of stakeholders and employees, and the company s actual behaviour Rethink organization design It is only possible to integrate society s needs by changing the roles and responsibilities of teams and individuals This starts with the redefinition of the CEO s role and must cascade down throughout the company Contest correct misperceptions and push back against unfair or illogical regulations which threaten to harm citizens as well as business Successful companies are not afraid to challenge the logic of established thinking among regulators if they think they can win the argument What we should want is balance When the regulator is in the pocket of the regulated, society almost always loses out In the long run industry suffers too, even if it gains a significant advantage in the short or medium term Regulatory capture eventually causes scandals and accidents that result in draconian government interventions e.g after Japanese nuclear operators exploited the system, they found all plants were taken offline after Fukushima until they could be proven safe Ignore government and it s influence will inevitably catch you off guard commandeer it and you risk a backlash from society further down the line Government has unbounded power to create and destroy value in the pursuit of real or perceived natural interest e.g Walmart felt it was being targeted unfairly about its treatment of employees and used academic studies to establish a fact base Concede and lead Admit when the industry has got things wrong and lead the way in finding solutions Requires taking responsibility for negative impacts e.g Walmart accepts its negative environmental impact and pushes managers to make the company a leader in eco efficiency Collaborate engage radially meet important stakeholders regularly industry government and civil society and making friends before they are needed communicating to outsiders in clear language without resorting to propaganda Connected leadership Companies must integrate societal concerns deeply into commercial strategy and operations at every level Company success depends on its relationships with the external world, not just customers and investors but also employees, regulators, politicians, activists, NGOs, the environment and technology CSR CSR has failed to bridge the divide between companies and society due to its isolation from the core commercial activity of a company and treatment of reputation as an artificial construct Executives view it as a distracting cost centre while NGOs criticize what they see as propaganda At best CSR initatives distract attention from the vast societal contributions made by day to day business At worst, they represent a doomed endeavour to get away with irresponsible behaviour elsewhere CSR has proven to be irrelevant to a company s reputation in the event of corporate scandals it is not the answer for companies who struggle to articulate the broader social value of their core business Four main CSR flaws CSR ambitions are rarely realized because they lack the active participation of the big spending commercial functions such as production and marketing Centralized CSR teams tend to take too narrow a view of the relevant stakeholders Managers on the ground have a much better understanding of the local context, who really matters, and what can be delivered CSR focuses too closely on limiting the downside Companies often see it only as protecting their reputations, perhaps to get away with irresponsible behaviour elsewhere CSR programmes tend to be short lived Drawing on the professional experience of John Browne, former CEO of BP, and the insight of two McKinsey experts, Connect articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation This timely and important book features candid interviews with global leaders at the heart of this debate, from Facebook s Sheryl Sandberg and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein to Tony Blair and Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide WebConnect shows how companies and executives can enhance their performance by engaging radically with the world around them 130 dreadful pages of political upheaval and corporation perils due to mishandling of PR before going into the actual topic Barely scratches the surface of the topic and rather abrupt, ambiguous and inconclusive. This book was tough in that, though I think many of his ideas are laudable, the author uses business doublespeak in trying to convince me that an oil company can ever truly care about the environment, and it s painful when he basically suggests that, for example, wal mart should just give up beyond compliance with the law on labor issues I m oversimplifying, but I worry that CEOs reading this will misinterpret Did give me the boost to ensure my job is core business at kilroy. A good thesis of business engaging openly with society Some interesting examples, but it waffles on into completely irrelevant areas, either trying to build context or build up the credentials of the author. Connect and engage with society this is the rallying call to businesses by this impactful little book.Written by the former chief executive officer of BP and two top McKinsey executives, the book takes a hard look at how big businesses connect oraccurately often fail to connect with society at large Built around many candid interviews with top global leaders and mixed with the authors own experiences, the resultant book is a fairly informal, powerful and engaging read, dispensing ad Connect and engage with society this is the rallying call to businesses by this impactful little book.Written by the former chief executive officer of BP and two top McKinsey executives, the book takes a hard look at how big businesses connect oraccurately often fail to connect with society at large Built around many candid interviews with top global leaders and mixed with the authors own experiences, the resultant book is a fairly informal, powerful and engaging read, dispensing advice over how companies and executives can enhance their performance by engaging radically with the world around them.The authors point out that this engagement isthan philanthropy or corporate social responsibility CSR and the potential value for getting it right can be high, they estimate that it can be contribute a boost of up to 30 per cent of corporate earnings and the shares of companies which connect effectively outperform those of their competitors bythan 2 per cent every year That is a fair amount of money for effectively being a better, connected corporate citizen.It was good to see how historical references can be weaved into current day activities and even future projections given all at the same time.The authors are not afraid of throwing cold water over many popular themes in modern day business life, such as CSR, of which they are quite scathing CSR was an admirable attempt to improve companies relationship with society and to broaden the scope of their duties It told companies, as well as investors, to consider the well being of employees, communities, governments and other groups But CSR has failed both companies and society because the initiatives are almost always detached from the core commercial activities At best they distract attention from the vast societal contribution made by the day to day business At worst they represent a doomed endeavour to get away with irresponsible behaviour elsewhere Business leaders have been voicing these concerns for some time, but while CSR has been declared dead intellectually, it remains the model by which most companies deal with society In other words, people still talk warmly about the Emperor s New Clothes, just in case.This was a great book and a review can only scratch the surface It is humble, informative, open, embracing and veryish Even if you are not a top business leader with the power to change the course of your majestic ship, it can still be a very good read that may help you along in the future Extracts from the book i found particularly useful Location 1400 Technology driven transparency is shifting the balanced of power away from traditional institutions such as governments and companies towards individuals Social media has redefined the way we interact with the world democratizing the publication process Companies and governments need to adapt by engaging with people, inviting people in, learning from people, involving people Location 2100 Connecting with external stakehol Extracts from the book i found particularly useful Location 1400 Technology driven transparency is shifting the balanced of power away from traditional institutions such as governments and companies towards individuals Social media has redefined the way we interact with the world democratizing the publication process Companies and governments need to adapt by engaging with people, inviting people in, learning from people, involving people Location 2100 Connecting with external stakeholders can set companies apart in several ways From new revenue steams and reduced regulatory risk to reputational enhancement, market access and lower resource costs Location 2300 Lord Leverhulme, who founded Unilever, invented a soap that he used to help reduce infant mortality in Britain Also for Paul Polman, leader of Unilever, purpose must play a strong role for a company If I could give this book a negative rating I would The sheer hypocritical audacity of this guy is breathtaking He starts in the opening saying how sad he was about the loss of life as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill What he neglects to say is that his own policies when he was the CEO of BP caused the extent of the damage in the gulf If you want to know the true Lord Browne, read Greg Palast s Vulture s Picnic Browne is one of the biggest vultures of all This book is Browne s a If I could give this book a negative rating I would The sheer hypocritical audacity of this guy is breathtaking He starts in the opening saying how sad he was about the loss of life as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill What he neglects to say is that his own policies when he was the CEO of BP caused the extent of the damage in the gulf If you want to know the true Lord Browne, read Greg Palast s Vulture s Picnic Browne is one of the biggest vultures of all This book is Browne s attempt to whitewash his involvement Connect with the people Wow Hypocrisy beyond belief Really next level stuff but it isn t light reading like your typical business book Not very speed readable.Rather than delivering they key principles through anecdotes Browne weaves in history from over the last two millennia Loved it I agree that this book has a great idea and great concept but it is written absolutely terribly I felt like I was reading 400 pages of badly written, robotic essays.


About the Author: John Browne

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Connect: How companies succeed by engaging radically with society book, this is one of the most wanted John Browne author readers around the world.


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