The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits With Tomorrow's Bottom Line

Book description

The world's most forward-looking CEOs recognize the real challenge facing business today: a fundamental shift in the nature of commerce. While sustainability programs, government action, and nonprofits are all parts of the solution, CEOs and other leaders must focus on social, environmental, and economic benefit—not only because it will make the world a better place, but because it will ensure lasting profitability and success in the business climate of tomorrow.

The Breakthrough Challenge is both an inspiring call-to-action and a guide for this transformation, based on the work of The B Team, a major initiative uniting leaders in sustainability. As a founding advisor and member of The B Team, John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz map out an agenda for change. The most important goal for businesses must be redefining the bottom line to account for true long-term costs throughout the supply chain. To achieve this, leaders must rethink everything: what counts on balance sheets, how to incentivize performance, who does what in the C-suite, and even what inspires us. The Breakthrough Challenge draws on over 100 exclusive interviews to show this shift in action, sharing the pioneering work of leaders such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of The Huffington Post; Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of the Nestlé Group; and Linda Fisher, pioneering Chief Sustainability Officer at DuPont, among many others.

Change-as-usual strategies are not enough to move business from breakdowns to breakthroughs. The Breakthrough Challenge shows leaders how to achieve a true transformation and refocus the definition of profitability on the lasting wellbeing of people and planet—for the lasting success of their business.

Table of contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright
  3. Dedication
  4. Foreword
  5. Preface
    1. Notes
  6. Introduction: Profit from Tomorrow's Bottom Line
    1. Business Must Take the Lead
    2. Introducing The B Team
    3. Ten Steps to Breakthrough
    4. Breaking Through Requires System Change
    5. Notes
  7. Chapter 1: Adopt the Right Aspirations
    1. Ten Aspirations for Breakthrough Leadership
    2. Linking Aspirations to Incentives
    3. Moving Aspirations Beyond Corporate Citizenship
    4. Notes
  8. Chapter 2: Create New Corporate Structures
    1. Existing—and Breakthrough—Corporate Forms
    2. Rethinking Existing Business Structures
    3. Achieving Buy-In for Tomorrow's Corporate Forms
    4. Achieving Critical Mass
    5. Notes
  9. Chapter 3: Apply True Accounting Principles
    1. Accounting for Profit and Loss
    2. Probing the Dark Side of Accounting
    3. Accounting in Multiple Dimensions
    4. Notes
  10. Chapter 4: Calculate True Returns
    1. Rebooting Economics
    2. Getting a Grip on Externalities
    3. Engaging the Global C-Suite
    4. Investing for True Returns
    5. Scaling Societal Value
    6. Notes
  11. Chapter 5: Embrace Well-Being
    1. Positioning Business as a Driver of Well-Being
    2. Measuring—and Valuing—Happiness and Well-Being
    3. Taking a Cue from Social Entrepreneurs
    4. Editing Choices to Boost Well-Being
    5. Improving Infrastructures
    6. Creating New Societal Dreams
    7. Notes
  12. Chapter 6: Level the Playing Field
    1. Abiding by the Rules
    2. Leveraging the Power of Positive Incentives
    3. Removing Perverse Subsidies
    4. Joining Forces
    5. Avoiding Corruption
    6. Evolving the Playing Field
    7. Notes
  13. Chapter 7: Pursue Full Transparency
    1. Doing Business in the Goldfish Bowl
    2. Embracing Integrated Reporting
    3. Shrinking Our Footprints
    4. Redefining P&L and ROI
    5. Harnessing Big Data
    6. Plugging into the Circular Economy
    7. Notes
  14. Chapter 8: Redefine Education
    1. Waking Up to the B-School Challenge
    2. Changing the Relationship Between Business and B-Schools
    3. Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow's Students
    4. Changing the Face of Executive Education
    5. Rediscovering Experiential Learning
    6. Helping Today's Faculty Teach Tomorrow's Leaders
    7. Reengineering Tomorrow's B-Schools
    8. Notes
  15. Chapter 9: Learn from Nature's Model
    1. Probing the Three Levels of Biomimicry
    2. Grasping the Ultimate Bottom Line
    3. Innovating Like Nature
    4. Gaining Buy-In for Biomimicry
    5. Notes
  16. Chapter 10: Keep the Long Run in Mind
    1. Expanding the C-Suite Time Horizon
    2. Expanding the Time Horizon for Shareholders
    3. Shifting Toward Longer-Term Investing
    4. Rewarding Longer-Term Investors
    5. Shuttling Between Timescales
    6. Notes
  17. Conclusion: Get Ready to Break Through
    1. Rewriting the Rules
    2. Breaking Through
    3. Notes
  18. Acknowledgments
  19. About the Authors
  20. More from Wiley
  21. Index
  22. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits With Tomorrow's Bottom Line
  • Author(s): John Elkington, Jochen Zeitz, Sir Richard Branson
  • Release date: August 2014
  • Publisher(s): Jossey-Bass
  • ISBN: 9781118539699