Relentless Learning: A New Definition of Business Success for the 21st Century
What’s the Big Idea?
Aron Cramer, CEO of Business for Social Responsibility, has a powerful new definition for business success in the 21st century. He describes it as a “kaleidoscopic measure of business success.” Cramer says ” the imperative for companies to think about sustainability as a core element of their business strategy has never been more important.” Is your business a creative engine of change?
Cramer identifies three challenges that all businesses face in his book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World. These are:
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What’s the Significance?
According to Cramer, in order for companies to be “relentless learners,” it has to start at the top, with the CEO. That means listening to a diverse range of voices, not just the typical voices you hear in the boardroom. It also means understanding what society really wants from your enterprise, not just slavishly following what Wall Street wants for next quarter. “If society isn’t interested in the products and services that a company is making,” Cramer tells Big Think, “and if the public doesn’t accept the way companies interact with consumers, no business can succeed.”
Cramer interviewed Cal Patel, an ex-executive at Best Buy, for his book Sustainable Excellence. In explaining how his company succeeds, Patel coined a phrase “chasing the disruption.” As Cramer explains:
Don’t look at disruption as something that is a problem, look at it as something that’s creating new kinds of opportunities for a company. Don’t rest on what worked yesterday because what worked yesterday may be completely useless tomorrow. And this is something that is not really what we as human beings are very good at and big institutions aren’t necessarily very good at.
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