Thursday, 3 January 2013

Doing well and doing good

It must be ten years ago that the book "Good Business" by Steve Hilton and Giles Gibbons came on the market, and a few years have passed since John Grant's excellent "Co-opportunity". "Who cares wins" is the natural successor to these ground-breaking books on business as a force for good.

What David Jones cleverly does in "Who cares wins" is to bring the idea of good business into the mainstream, highlighting it as a necessity for all businesses, not just new start-ups as we enter the "Age of Damage". In addition, he joins up the dots between Social Media and socially responsible businesses. Social media is the  means by which people (please, not consumers or even prosumers!) will work together with companies and organisations to Do Well AND Do Good.

The underlying premise of the book - that to succeed in the 21st century, businesses have to do both - "well" and "good" is excellent and the idea of the Age of Damage is a strong one (and was confirmed at the tail end of last year with the various tax-related stories involving Starbucks et al). Overall, the book is clearly written and enjoyable to read.

The marketing-cynic in me can't resist a few minor nit-picks about the odd cliche: there's a lot of embracing going on here, usually involving empowered consumers, and words are often unnecessarily qualified by "really, truly or genuinely", but perhaps I just notice these things because I'm guilty of them in my own presentations ;-)  In addition, to make the point clear, a black and white picture of then (silos, profit-greedy companies, captive consumers in front of TVs) and now (brave new world of benevolent young green-blooded business people with responsibility at the heart of all they do, think and say) comes over which isn't strictly accurate.

This is an important and forward-thinking book with some excellent examples from the whole spectrum of business. I also liked the optimism, clarity and action-orientation of the author's style.

I think I'll make "Do well and do good" a New Year's resolution.

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