PM World Journal Vol. III, Issue IV – April 2014

Introduction to the Book 

The New Corporate Facts of Life highlights the emerging business model that businesses can develop innovative solutions to society’s problems while increasing their profits. The author outlines that solving these issues can and should be done by businesses, not the government. She focuses the book, and her work as a consultant, on guiding others to adapt new and innovative visions and business model to make positive differences to the world for future generations. 

The book provides case studies of several large successful companies that have incorporated sustainable practices into their corporate mission, vision and culture. She reviews the mission, vision, culture and key leaders of companies such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nike, Unilever, Patagonia, UPS and Nova Nordisk.

Overview of Book’s Structure 

The author focuses each chapter on providing a game plan for companies to create and embrace the New Corporate Facts of Life. Within each chapter overviewing key steps, she provides a review of successful companies and leaders that have implemented the new corporate model by creating compelling visions, vibrant and unique cultures, leadership for change and engagement of all stakeholders, for example. 

At the end of each chapter she provides a New Corporate Facts of Life Barometer for the chapter topic that guides the reader to rate their organization on their current state and challenges them on how they can help their organization reset their mindset to imagine and influence a different future. 

Highlights: What’s New in this Book

This book focuses on the revolution for businesses. The old business model focused on short term, profit centered business strategies that will result in a corporation becoming extinct. The author identifies “seven powerful, interconnected forces that will trigger a catalytic change in the global business landscape.” She states that the following forces have created the New Corporate Facts of Life and “require a major shift in strategic thinking.” 

1. Disruptive innovation 

2. Economic Instability 

3. Societal Upheaval  

4. Stakeholder power

5. Environmental degradation

6. Globalization

7. Population Shifts

Highlights: What I liked! 

I agree with the Author that it is vital that companies operate with business models that promote sustainable practices. Many of the examples she provides are companies that set goals to reduce their use of natural resources such as water, minimize or eliminate waste sent to landfills and identify ways to use recycled materials in their products. 

The case studies show large, well-recognized companies that have been successful in implementing this business model and that it is important for more companies to embrace to ensure a better future. She also provides ideas regarding local or national groups that companies can reach out to for assistance and support. 

I also appreciated the many examples of the strong leaders in these companies and how they promote the importance of getting feedback from all stakeholders, including competitors. In order for businesses to make these seismic shifts, we need everyone working together for a greater good. 

This was an easy, enjoyable book to read and the author created stories to tell the tales of these leading companies and how their changed their business models to embrace the New Corporate Facts of Life. 

Shortfalls: What was Missing! 

I felt that some of the examples in the book overlapped and were somewhat redundant. 

Who might benefit from the Book 

Leaders of all businesses, small and large would benefit from reading The New Corporate Facts of Life. The goals and steps outlined are important for all companies, regardless of size. People in every layer and positions of organizations would learn valuable ideas on how they can challenge their companies to shift their thinking to adopt a sustainable business model. 

Conclusion

The author challenges everyone to see how they can make changes within their companies to adopt the New Corporate Facts of life. This rapid, vital change in the business model is as important and game changing as the industrial revolution or the information age. Most importantly this change will help us all realize a better future for all generations.

Produced in cooperation between the AMACOM, PM World Journal, The PMI Dallas Chapter, Dallas, Texas, USA PM World Library www.pmworldlibrary.net 

Book Review Reviewer: Paula Wenger