While the rest of the world is just now discovering Conscious Capitalism, the Tata Group — a company based in India with $100.09 billion in revenue in 2012 — has been scrupulously applying its principles since 1860.
In contrast to CSR and “triple bottom line” reporting (TBL), Conscious Capitalism does not strive to divide value more equitably between company stakeholders but rather to create more value for all. Based on Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia (Harvard Business Review, January 2013), “The Thought Leader Interview: William J. O’Rourke,” by Ann Graham (Strategy + Business, November 2012) and the interview with R Gopalakrishnan, director, Tata Sons, February 2013.
According to Harish Hande of Selco India, decentralized solar energy solutions are the best way to respond to the needs of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Could these consumers be key drivers of the renewable energy revolution foreseen by Jeremy Rifkin?
Far from basing their business models on those of Western markets, emerging countries are rewriting the rules of how business is done around the world in better alignment with current social, technological, and economic realities such as consumer ‘hyperconnectivity’ and free access to information. Based on Standing on the Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere by Christopher Meyer with Julia Kirby (Harvard Business Review Press, February 2012), “Winning the $30 trillion decathlon: Going for gold in emerging markets” by Yuval Atsmon et al. (McKinsey Quarterly, August 2012) and “Natura Cosméticos, S.A.” by Robert G. Eccles, George Serafeim, and James Heffernan (Harvard Business School, November 2011).
Based on, among other, “The Social Side of Strategy” by Arne Gast and Michele Zanini (McKinsey Quarterly, May 2012); “Building Employee Engagement Through Strategy Collaboration” by Melissa J. Anderson (Evolved Employer, June 2012), Find Your Next by Andrea Kates (McGraw-Hill, October 2011), and the interview with Jackie Yeaney, vice president of strategy and marketing, Red Hat, August 2012.
How can you cut prices without sacrificing quality? This is the challenge that Siemens’ 2005 SMART initiative was designed to overcome. The idea to meet the needs of consumers in emerging countries by designing products that are simple to use, easy to repair, and inexpensive.
How can the impressive do-it-yourself cultures of emerging countries give Western firms new inspiration? In environments characterized by resource constraints, Jugaad leads to greater creativity and translates into quicker to-market times and more effective responses to customer needs.Based on Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja (Jossey-Bass, May 2012), and the interview with Armin Bruck, CEO Siemens India, April 2012.
It is not a coincidence that that many companies in developing countries rely on frugal innovation to minimize their ecological footprint. Indeed, consumers in emerging countries like China and India are generally more sensitive to environmental protection than their Western counterparts. Based on “Emerging markets willing to pay more for ‘green’ products” by Sumner Lemon (InfoWorld, January 2010), “Ghana: Bamboo bikes in high demand” by Kofi Adu Domfeh (Africa News, March 2011), “Striving for Positive Water Impact” by PepsiCo & The Nature Conservancy, 2011, “Doing green business with emerging markets” from the 11th European Forum on Eco-Innovation (European Commission Environment, October 2011).
Businessses that champion operational excellence all have one thing in common: strong process discipline. They bank on the flexibility and interoperability of their functions, departments and strategic networks to boost their profitability, ensuring a major competitive advantage. A synthesis of several publications, accompanied by a case on Rossignol, February 2012.
Profitability is not incompatible with social progress... on the contrary! The most successful companies are those that already know how to reconcile social and economic values. What is the challenge for leaders? To develop a coordinated strategic vision, to build a culture of responsibility, and to embrace the challenges of diversity. Based on Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value by Michael Beer, Flemming Norrgren et al., Harvard Business Press, September 2011.