Should companies be run to earn a profit, or to serve a purpose? In this ground-breaking book, acclaimed finance professor and TED speaker Alex Edmans shows it’s not an either-or choice. Drawing from the highest-quality evidence and real-life examples spanning industries and countries, Edmans demonstrates that businesses driven by purpose are consistently more successful in the long term.
But a purposeful company must navigate difficult trade-offs and take tough decisions. Edmans provides an actionable roadmap for company leaders to put purpose into practice, and overcome the hurdles that hold many back. He explains how investors can discern which companies are truly purposeful rather than greenwashing, and engage with them to unleash value for both shareholders and society. And he highlights the crucial role that citizens can play as employees, customers and investors, in reshaping business to improve our world.
Please see the London Business School Review article, “How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”, for a short summary of the book.
Part I: Why Grow The Pie? Introducing the Idea
1. The Pie-Growing Mentality A new approach to business that works for both investors and society
2. Growing the Pie Doesn’t Aim to Maximise Profits – But Often Does Freeing a company to take more investments, ultimately driving its success
3. Growing the Pie Doesn’t Mean Growing the Enterprise Three principles to guide trade-offs and what projects to turn down
4. Does Pieconomics Work? Data – not wishful thinking – shows that companies can both do good and do well
Part II: What Grows the Pie? Exploring the Evidence
5. Incentives Rewarding long-term value creation while deterring short-term gaming
6. Stewardship The value of engaged investors that both support and challenge management
7. Repurchases Investing with restraint, releasing resources to create value elsewhere in society
Part III: How to Grow the Pie? Putting it into Practice
8. Enterprises The power of purpose and how to make it real
9. Investors How to turn stewardship from a policy into a practice
10. Citizens How individuals can act and shape business, rather than be acted upon
Part IV: The Bigger Picture
11. Growing the Pie More Widely Win-win thinking at the national and personal levels