22 September 2015

Connect - How companies succeed by engaging radically with society - by John Browne with Robin Nuttall and Tommy Stadlen

Drawing on the experience of John Browne, former CEO of BP, with the assistance of McKinsey consultants Robin Nuttall and Tommy Stadlen, this new book called “ Connect” articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation.

The ability to connect with society is the new frontier of competitive advantage for those who are enlightened enough to go beyond philanthropy or ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’.  Breaking the centuries-old cycle of anti-business sentiment is possible, but it requires genuine leadership and a new way of thinking about commerce.

What happens when companies integrate standard economic drivers such as value generation and profit maximization with a deep engagement with society? Creating value over the long term requires executives to continually renew their "stock" of goodwill among stakeholders - including regulators, pressure groups, and the communities in which they operate. In fact, it can be argued that engaging effectively with stakeholders is the new frontier of competitive advantage.

Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are usually too far removed from the core business to have a transformative impact on the relationships between a company and its key stakeholders. Real impact comes from embedding responsibility for stakeholder relationships "in the line", focusing on issues that are close to the core of the business, and applying world-class management techniques to achieve alignment throughout the organization.

Reputation management is a thing of the past. In an era of transparency, reputation is no longer a construct to be managed, but an outcome of what your company represents in the world. Radical authenticity and engagement can connect your organization to society, build trust, and lead to outcomes that create value for the business and for society as a whole.

Connect fundamentally redefines the role of business, combining captivating stories from inside today’s boardrooms with absorbing history and original research.