Capitalism may be the greatest engine of progress and prosperity, but the financial meltdown has led many to resent the dominant economic system in the Western world.
That's why the Harvard Business Review and McKinsey M-Prize for Innovation are launching the Long-Term Capitalism Challenge.
Polly LaBarre, editorial director of the Management Innovation eXchange, says this challenge is more urgent than ever as businesses need to restore public trust and repair the moral fabric of the system.
It's time to radically revise the deeply-etched beliefs about what business is for, whose interests it serves, and how it creates value, LaBarre wrote in a blog post at the HBR. We need a new form of capitalism for the 21st century.
Leilani Doyle, vice president of marketing and product management at US Dataworks, agrees that capitalism in the Internet-connected era is ready for change.
We are painfully living through the consequences of rapid short-term gains that profited few, Doyle said. I am hoping in a world that has condensed much thought into 140 characters we are still capable of expressing complex ideas.
To stimulate change, the HBR and McKinsey challenge is focused on making organizations more principled, patient and social.
According to the challenge guidelines: A principled approach is needed because capitalism degenerates into narrow self-interest without a strong ethical foundation. Patience is a must since vision and perseverance are critical to value creation. And capitalism cannot operate in a social vacuum. Profits and shareholder return can no longer be the only measures of a company's value-add.
Source: Harvard Business Review, February 2012