American democratic capitalism put the U.S. at the acme of success and once created a better life for most citizens. But many citizens no longer believe capitalism is working for them, a belief further entrenched by the deep economic pain of the Covid-19 pandemic. As corporations wake up to the urgent need for change – as evidenced by the Business Roundtable’s updated purpose of the corporation last year – business executives need tools for contributing positively to society rather than operating in a way that delivers value to some but not all.
Join Fortune CEO Alan Murray and Roger Martin for an intimate conversation about Martin’s new book, WHEN MORE IS NOT BETTER. They discussed how America’s obsessive pursuit of economic efficiency is driving inequality, making our economy more fragile – both socially and environmentally – and damaging Americans’ faith in capitalism. They addressed why we must stop viewing our economy as a machine that can be perfected with increasing levels of efficiency, and instead understand it as a natural system – one that is complex, adaptive, and systemic – more like a rainforest than an oil refinery – and which requires a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. Lastly, they explored specific actions business leaders can take to restore balance – changes to how they run their business, all of which have been tried and tested in other contexts.
Roger Martin’s book, WHEN MORE IS NOT BETTER: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency, was released September 29 by Harvard Business Review Press and is available at major retailers.