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Rosabeth Moss Kanter

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

3.7 (21 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

SuperCorp by Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a study of companies that are improving society while also maximizing profits. It explores the concept of "doing well by doing good" and how businesses can succeed by engaging in ethical practices and social responsibility.

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    Corporations are seen as greedy and corrupt, but a new socially conscious business model is emerging.

    When you drive past a giant factory with clouds of toxins billowing from its smokestacks, you probably don’t get a warm feeling in your heart.

    These days, it’s common for people to cite corporations as a primary cause for many of the world’s problems.

    On any given day, you can read headlines about the growing obesity epidemic in the West, food shortages in Africa, oil spills in the oceans and rampant corruption – all of which can be traced back to greedy multinational corporations led by immoral CEOs with a lust for money that surpasses any concern for the well-being of the planet.

    However, a new generation of businesses is emerging. They’re known as vanguard companies, and they have a socially conscious business model that is both financially savvy and eco-friendly.

    Vanguard companies differ from non-profit organizations in that they don’t exist solely to take on issues like clean water or public housing. Make no mistake, these companies are competitive and out to make a profit, but they use their strong business sense to find solutions for social issues.

    For vanguard companies, being socially conscious is part of business practice. So they do more than simply make charitable donations, though this could also be a part of their business model. And this business model is especially popular with those born in the 1980s and 1990s, the so-called millennials. This generation is eager to prove that you can both earn a big paycheck and make the world a better place.

    This attitude isn’t without its precedents. IBM has a long history of helping communities recover from natural disasters. In 2004, the company responded to the tsunami that killed nearly a quarter of a million people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. A group of IBM employees rallied to provide technology that would expedite the delivery of relief supplies and speed up the recovery process.

    No one was forcing them to take action – they had the means to make a positive impact and simply saw it as the right thing to do.

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    What is SuperCorp about?

    SuperCorp (2009) is an introduction to a new breed of business: the vanguard company. Find out how these companies are able to make healthy profits while simultaneously meeting societal needs and acting as forces for good in their communities.

    SuperCorp Review

    SuperCorp (2009) explores the rise of companies that prioritize societal impact alongside profits. Here’s why this book is a must-read:

    • With in-depth case studies of successful companies, it provides a blueprint for organizations looking to make a positive difference in the world.
    • Offering valuable insights into the future of business, it challenges traditional notions of profit-driven models and showcases the potential for sustainable growth.
    • By highlighting the stories of business leaders who prioritize purpose, the book offers a refreshing and inspiring perspective on the role of corporations in society.

    Best quote from SuperCorp

    Vanguard companies have the power to contribute to the world in positive ways, and they want to do so.

    —Rosabeth Moss Kanter
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    Who should read SuperCorp?

    • Business executives and CEOs
    • Anyone interested in socially responsible corporations
    • Students of business

    About the Author

    Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a professor at the Harvard Business School specializing in strategy, leadership and innovation from the perspective of social change. She is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and the author of several books, including Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End.

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    SuperCorp FAQs 

    What is the main message of SuperCorp?

    SuperCorp explores the power of innovative business models and how they can foster sustainable growth and positive impact.

    How long does it take to read SuperCorp?

    The estimated reading time for SuperCorp is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is SuperCorp a good book? Is it worth reading?

    SuperCorp is definitely worth reading. It offers valuable insights into the changing landscape of business and provides practical strategies for success.

    Who is the author of SuperCorp?

    The author of SuperCorp is Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

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