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Publisher's Summary

A renowned Harvard professor debunks prevailing orthodoxy with a new intellectual foundation and a practical pathway forward for a system that has lost its moral and ethical foundation.

Free market capitalism is one of humanity's greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.

Rebecca Henderson's rigorous research in economics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as her many years of work with companies around the world, give us a path forward. She debunks the worldview that the only purpose of business is to make money and maximize shareholder value. She shows that we have failed to reimagine capitalism so that it is not only an engine of prosperity but also a system that is in harmony with environmental realities, the striving for social justice, and the demands of truly democratic institutions.

Henderson's deep understanding of how change takes place, combined with fascinating in-depth stories of companies that have made the first steps towards reimagining capitalism, provide inspiring insight into what capitalism can be. Together with rich discussions of important role of government and how the worlds of finance, governance, and leadership must also evolve, Henderson provides the pragmatic foundation for navigating a world faced with unprecedented challenge, but also with extraordinary opportunity for those who can get it right.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Rebecca Henderson (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rebecca Henderson weaves together research and personal experience with clarity and vision, illustrating the potential for business to benefit both itself and society by leading on the most challenging issues of our day. Read, and feel hopeful." (Judith Samuelson, vice president, the Aspen Institute)

"If you are unsatisfied with today's economic arguments--which too often seem to present an unappealing choice between unbridled markets and old-school collectivism--you need to read Rebecca Henderson's Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire. Henderson offers a system that rewards initiative and respects the power of free enterprise, but that also recognizes that we have a higher purpose in life than pure profit maximization. This is a book for the realist with a heart." (Arthur C. Brooks, president emeritus, American Enterprise Institute; professor of practice, Harvard Kennedy School; senior fellow, Harvard Business School; and author of Love Your Enemies)

"Rebecca Henderson is a provocative thinker on the purpose of business in society. In her new book, she advances the dialogue about the role of business in addressing the big social and environmental challenges of our time. Hers is an important voice in an essential conversation." (Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer, Walmart)

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Review of thoughts

The books first and second chapters do share some good lights on the importance for business to carry a social vision, which is very important for a healthy business. Nonetheless, I feel the book lost its ground going forward, first begin with the chapter on financing and second on social cooperation. The way that the author approached the statement is to support them by stories of companies, but because there is so few of them it felt like cherry-picking and weak, likewise, the description of the narrative seems dry and repetitive.

In the end, I am glad of the reminder for the social mission that a company carry but disheartens by the way that the author approached the statement.

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Misleading "dramatic" title.

The more appropriate title would be "The latest trends of capitalism". Lame attempt to fork out the trend out of "Good to Great" with emphasis on environmental sustainability (nothing wrong with focusing on the issue btw, but there is no need for deceptive titles). I struggled to find a "new groundbreaking" reimagining strategy when the author speaks about problems companies faced for ages ... mitigating responsibility and risk. It reads as a subtle agenda of vilifying companies that make financially responsible decisions while promoting risky spending strategies that may or may not benefit the company, but will certainly benefit the environment. While the environment is important and companies should strive to do their part, fiscal responsibility cannot be ignored and the examples author makes attribute more to large companies with large budgets that can withstand many hurdles middle and small companies may not. The examples author makes of how companies made responsible choices ofen ignore the psychology of business. While social responsibility is important, comparing Toyota and GM cultures and stating that if only GM would have empowered its people to contribute to the decision-making process, they would have been at least as successful as Toyota is at the very least irresponsible. GM's management certainly made mistakes and empowering employees absolutely would have helped to resolve some issues, it is however ambitious to claim it will bring GM to Toyota's level, at that time. The author simply downplays or in some cases ignores economic, political, and other market conditions to draw conclusions that society will take care of your business. "Good to Great" was based on examples of companies that ended up in the hot seat or no longer around (Fannie, Wells, Curcuit City, Phillip Morris). It's important to promote social responsibility, however, it's just as important to recognize its cost and often a burden, especially on the smaller business. Start-ups that ride the waves of being socially responsible are taking the opportunity of the trend and so should existing large-cap companies, but the majority of companies that start as socially responsible companies fail just as much as the ones that don't. It's important to recognize that a robust and dynamic company that is aligned with the overall economic, market and political climate (flavor of the last couple of decades is social responsibility) will succeed. It's an informative book and has some good points, if it's the first book you read in this category. However, as far as reimagining capitalism, the book is a major fail. Books such as "Understanding complexity", "An Economist hour", "The Deficit Myth" and even "Good to Great", collectively offer various ways of looking at problems and offer greater value.

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Compelling story, very well told

Professor Henderson very clearly lays out the serious problems- climate degradation, grotesque income inequality, and collapsing critical institutions, that have been made much worse by our current form of unconstrained capitalism. Imagining corporations not as solely profit driven, but purpose driven as well, she draws on her wealth of experience as a change management consultant to leading corporations, to not only identify the challenges, but also provide inspirational examples of organizations that are an impressive vanguard for needed change. We can only hope her optimism is justified.

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Sadly unconvincing

The most compelling solutions are either socialist or involve sovereign wealth funds (I.e. socialized capital).

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Just a bunch of platitudes

Save your time, there’s not enough here to justify the hours. Read radical uncertainty or the narrow corridor instead.

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couldn't finish

started off interesting and than became repetitive. Narration lost some of the variation in her voice over time making it boring. Wanted to like it, thought the concept was interesting but than it falls flat.

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What the world needs now

Excellent book. A strong statement with great examples on how we can change our society and economy to deal with climate change and the other problems facing humanity and our world.

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loved it!

It was both insightful and very engaging. You can hear the author's passion in her words but yet remains pragmatic in her approach and conclusions.

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Powerful

This is now one of my favourite books. A must read for EVERY SINGLE PERSON!

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Mind Opening

Great, inspiring prrspective on what we all need to be thinking about and doing if we're to survive.