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SuperCorp

How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good

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Hardcover published by Crown Business (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the answer to the global crisis of business and American-style capitalism.

Out of the ashes of conventional business models arises a set of companies using their power not only for profits and sustainable growth but also social good.

If you think business corporations are doomed to be lumbering, bloated, and corrupt, think again.

Based on an extraordinary three-year investigation, interviewing more than 350 key people at major companies around the world, Rosabeth Moss Kanter provides encouraging and astounding evidence that this assumption is completely outdated. The businesses that are agile, keeping ahead of the curve in terms of market changes and customer needs, are the businesses that are also progressive, socially responsible human communities.

Take IBM. When the tsunami and earthquake struck Asia, IBM didn’ t just cut a check for relief funds and call it a day. The company used its technological expertise and skilled people to create what government and relief agencies could not: information systems to effectively track relief supplies and reunite families. While IBM did this with no commercial motive, its employees’ desire to serve people suffering during these crises stimulated innovations that later benefited the company.

Or Proctor & Gamble. Despite a decade-long commitment to research and development of a water purification product, commercial prospects were unpromising. But because it was so consistent with P&G’s statement of purpose, people within the company persevered. And when the tsunami struck, it was then able to deliver roughly a billion glasses of drinking water for the victims, earning plaudits from aid partners, the media, governments, and crucially, P&G employees.

SuperCorp captures the zeitgeist of the emerging twenty-first-century business. For example:

• The strong potential synergy between financial performance and attention to community and social needs
• The unique competitive advantage from embracing the values and expectations of a new generation of professionals
• The growth opportunities that result from stressing values and supressing executive egos when seeking partners and integrating acquisitions

SuperCorp is a remarkable look at the business of the future and the management skills required to get there. IBM, Banco Real, P&G, Cemex, Omron, and other companies reported on now move with the rapidity and creativity of much smaller enterprises. These companies are not perfect, but when people are empowered and values drive decisions, everything can come together in magical “Rubik’s Cube moments” of deep satisfaction. Kanter’s compelling and inspiring stories show that people are more inclined to be creative when their company values innovation that helps the world.
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Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the answer to the global crisis of business and American-style capitalism.

Out of the ashes of conventional business models arises a set of companies using their power not only for profits and sustainable growth but also social good.

If you think business corporations are doomed to be lumbering, bloated, and corrupt, think again.

Based on an extraordinary three-year investigation, interviewing more than 350 key people at major companies around the world, Rosabeth Moss Kanter provides encouraging and astounding evidence that this assumption is completely outdated. The businesses that are agile, keeping ahead of the curve in terms of market changes and customer needs, are the businesses that are also progressive, socially responsible human communities.

Take IBM. When the tsunami and earthquake struck Asia, IBM didn’ t just cut a check for relief funds and call it a day. The company used its technological expertise and skilled people to create what government and relief agencies could not: information systems to effectively track relief supplies and reunite families. While IBM did this with no commercial motive, its employees’ desire to serve people suffering during these crises stimulated innovations that later benefited the company.

Or Proctor & Gamble. Despite a decade-long commitment to research and development of a water purification product, commercial prospects were unpromising. But because it was so consistent with P&G’s statement of purpose, people within the company persevered. And when the tsunami struck, it was then able to deliver roughly a billion glasses of drinking water for the victims, earning plaudits from aid partners, the media, governments, and crucially, P&G employees.

SuperCorp captures the zeitgeist of the emerging twenty-first-century business. For example:

• The strong potential synergy between financial performance and attention to community and social needs
• The unique competitive advantage from embracing the values and expectations of a new generation of professionals
• The growth opportunities that result from stressing values and supressing executive egos when seeking partners and integrating acquisitions

SuperCorp is a remarkable look at the business of the future and the management skills required to get there. IBM, Banco Real, P&G, Cemex, Omron, and other companies reported on now move with the rapidity and creativity of much smaller enterprises. These companies are not perfect, but when people are empowered and values drive decisions, everything can come together in magical “Rubik’s Cube moments” of deep satisfaction. Kanter’s compelling and inspiring stories show that people are more inclined to be creative when their company values innovation that helps the world.
Product Details
Hardcover (336 pages)
Published: August 25, 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307382351
Other books byRosabeth Moss Kanter
  • Confidence

    Confidence
    How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin...
    From the locker room to the living room to the boardroom—how winners become winners . . . and stay that way. Is success simply a matter of money and talent? Or is there another reason why some people and organizations always land on their feet, while others, equally talented, stumble again and again? There’s a fundamental principle at work–confidence–that makes the difference between winning and losing in any competition, be it a high school basketball game or a high-stakes business situation. In Confidence, Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter shows why organizations of all types may be brimming with talent but not be winners. Based on her extraordinary investigation of success and failure in companies such as Continental Airlines and Verizon and sports teams such as the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the arenas of education, health care, and politics, Kanter explores a new theory and practice of success and provides people in leadership positions with a prescriptive program for maintaining a winning streak or turning around a downward spiral. Packed with brilliant, practical ideas, Confidence provides fresh thinking about success in all facets of life—from the factors that can make or break corporations and governments to the keys for successful relationships in the workplace or at home.

    Evolve

    Evolve
    Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow
    People and organizations at every stage of Internet sophistication face the same burning question: How should they change in order to succeed in a digital world? Renowned thinker and business trailblazer Rosabeth Moss Kanter says answers will be found not in cyberspace but on the ground, where real people connect, collaborate, and form thriving human communities. In this eye-opening book, Kanter explores what she calls "e-culture"-a new way of living and working that will transform every aspect of today's organizations. Kanter argues that networks of relationships, not just new technologies, permit speed and seamlessness, encourage creativity and collaboration, and release energy and brainpower-the "soul" of e-business. And every organization-from dotcoms to dotcom-enablers (technology and service providers) to wannadots (traditional companies struggling to embrace the Web)- must learn to build and foster them. Based on a landmark project with rare on-site access, over 300 interviews, and a 785-company global survey,Evolve!provides a hands-on blueprint for adopting the core principles of e-culture: treat strategy as improvisational theater; nurture networks of partners; reconstruct organizations as online and offline "communities"; and attract and retain top talent. With colorful and memorable stories, Kanter illuminates vast differences between older, more conservative companies and aggressive, born-digital dotcoms. She takes us deep inside evolving organizations-including IBM, eBay, Reuters, Sun Microsystems, Razorfish, Abuzz, Barnesandnoble.com, Williams-Sonoma, and pioneering public schools-to provide best practices from e-culture pacesetters and cautionary lessons from Internet laggards. Defining the skills leaders need to master change, she reveals how dotcoms and dotcom-enablers can grow fast while crafting a great culture, and how wannadots can benefit by becoming Web-enabled. For anyone who wants to realize the potential and avoid the pitfalls of the Internet age, this pathbreaking book identifies and analyzes the emergence of e-culture-and provides a lively, roll-up-your-sleeves guide to profiting from tomorrow. Rosabeth Moss Kanter is the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She has been named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in the World" byThe Times of London, and is the author of several bestselling books.

    America the Principled

    America the Principled
    6 Opportunities for Becoming a Can-Do Nation...
    Sometimes it seems that Americans are divided in countless ways—red or blue; black, brown, or white; rich or poor; male or female. What happened to America as the land of freedom and openness? In America the Principled, renowned Harvard Business School professor and bestselling author Rosabeth Moss Kanter tackles the hardest questions our nation faces, and challenges us to recommit ourselves to pursuing our nation’s noblest goals: equality and opportunity. As our open minds, open markets, and open borders—our nation’s highest ideals—are besieged by ideologues and zealots, Dr. Kanter shows us how to recapture the American Dream. Artfully mixing practical ideas with compassionate guidance, she reminds us that the stakes have never been higher: Our economic vitality and democratic ideals are both at risk. In order to compete in the global market, we must invest in people and ideas, reward hard work, value dialogue and debate, and listen to dissenting voices. We must curtail our desire for worldwide empire, build bridges through citizen diplomacy, and pursue happiness instead of hegemony. Dr. Kanter proposes six vital items on the agenda for restoring American strengths: • Widening the net of prosperity by creating opportunities for people of all social and economic classes to participate in the science-based “white coat” economy. We can’t afford to have large segments of people—and areas of our country—existing outside the foundations of our future, innovation-seeking society. • Supporting real family values through fair and flexible workplaces that reduce stress and close gender gaps, enabling people to earn a living, be productive, and have the time and energy for the other side of life • Ridding the private sector of imperial excess by instilling a values-based capitalism of businesses that are well run, make lots of money, and do lots of good • Reinventing government and stop denigrating it so that when the next Katrina strikes, we have the right people in place with the motivation, capability, and resources to deal with it • Doing something about the “Ugly American” by earning back the respect that we have lost in the last six years through individual grass-roots engagement with people in other countries • Moving from “me” to “we” through national service programs that tap both young people as well as aging baby boomers to create a community ethos that unites people behind common purposes Empowering and surprisingly optimistic, America the Principled urges us to work together for a bright future we’ll be proud to share, having earned the respect of the world once more—and shows us how to do it. From the Hardcover edition.

    Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management

    Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management
    "This book presents, for the first time, the essential Kanter: a collection of her cutting-edge ideas and wisdom accumulated from two decades of experience, and which hold even more relevance today than they did in the past." -HR Magazine This landmark book brings together all of Rosabeth Moss Kanter's Harvard Business Review articles and many of the editorial columns she wrote while an editor at HBR. The pieces span a variety of critical topics: strategy, innovation, customer focus, global trends, planning for change, strategic alliances, compensation systems, and community responsibility-all brought together to enforce a single, timeless message: the importance of treating people as assets, not costs, and providing the tools and conditions that liberate people to use their brainpower to make a difference.

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