andrewlb notes

Betterness

Betterness

Metadata

Highlights

  • First, that companies exist to earn “profit,” in the form of financial returns, by extracting rent for their owners—shareholders—as codified by the great eighteenth-century economist David Ricardo. Second, that in a hierarchical regime of militaristic control, managers are a company’s exclusive decision makers, and that their primary responsibility is crafting strategies that let a company “win” vis-à-vis adversaries, as put into practice by the legendary Alfred P. Sloan. Third, that employees “work” on parceled-up tasks to mass-make “product” à la Henry Ford. And, finally, that at the end of the globe’s great chains of production sit the people known as “consumers” whose immediate needs companies exist to “satisfy”—an idea best codified by the great economist Alfred Marshall, the father of the now-familiar supply-demand chart. (Location 121)
  • David Ricardo. (Location 123)
  • called a good life eudaimonia. Descended from the biggest big idea in history—Aristotle’s notion that “the highest good” was the final end of all human endeavor—eudaimonia, the concept of a “good life,” went on to become the fundamental design principle of ancient Greek civilization, the raison d’être for city states, gyms, schools, and polities. But eudaimonia wasn’t an easy, comfortable, materially rich life, but one that was authentically, meaningfully rich: rich with relationships, ideas, emotion, health and vigor, recognition and contribution, passion and fulfillment, and great accomplishment and enduring achievement, exactly what “business,” “output,” and “product” seem so achingly deficient at producing. (Location 209)
  • When a person is wealthy relationally in social capital, environmentally in natural capital, managerially in organizational capital, personally in human capital, emotionally in emotional capital, and intellectually in intellectual capital, he or she might be said to be authentically, broadly, and deeply rich. (Location 221)
  • Building a national balance sheet is the single biggest step nations can take to revitalize sagging, flagging economies (or to leapfrog them entirely), so they can tell not merely how loudly the rev counter of industrial output is roaring, but whether (or not) the wheels of human prosperity are in motion. (Location 265)
  • I’ve recently proposed the idea of ethical capital, and Richard Florida, director of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, has suggested that progress depends on creative capital.) (Location 274)
  • Nor am I dictating what kinds of capital must be present in a national balance sheet; rather, I’m suggesting that the decision on which kinds of higher-order capital a national balance sheet consists of, and which categories matter more than others, is one that reflects the disparate values and preferences of different societies. (Location 275)
  • The world’s most developed countries, it seems, can only support a maximum happiness capacity of 40 percent to 50 percent: in most advanced economies, there seems to be a glass ceiling of at most 50 percent of the population describing themselves as “very happy”—one that appears to be, despite their mightiest efforts, unbreakable. The bucket, it seems, is stuck at half full. (Location 292)
  • economist Michael Heller and law scholar Lawrence Lessig have pointed out, patents are now less expressions of true intellectual wealth than tools for strategic control. They are used to create what Heller calls “gridlock”—a deliberate gumming up of entire industries and markets. (Location 300)
  • The role of the financial sector is to allocate the many kinds of capital, not to produce them. The producers of capital are fighting tooth and nail for a smaller and smaller share of the pie. Such an economy is unsustainable in the deepest sense of the word: the incentives to produce capital are drying up, and that is why little or nothing is being added back to the buckets. (Location 317)
  • the sociologist Juliet Schor has observed, “indicators of well-being have diverged significantly from measures of income over the last several decades.” (Location 339)
  • The Easterlin Paradox notes that though nations and people may grow materially richer, gains in happiness and satisfaction quickly taper off. The Jevons Paradox notes that the more efficient technology makes resource extraction, the easier it becomes to increase consumption of that resource—overusing and depleting it. The Hotelling paradox observes that though, in theory, the prices of nonrenewable resources should spike as they get scarcer (at a rate at least equivalent to interest), in practice, they consistently and systematically don’t. (Location 354)
  • The implication is that our profit margins are falling, and often we aren’t reinvesting, but earning revenues by selling our assets and, in the limit, booking liabilities instead. (Location 361)
  • The defining characteristic of a paradox is a systemic, enduring link between the right actions and bad outcomes. To realize good outcomes, you must seek, strive, and struggle to do things wrong. (Location 375)
  • in our understanding of prosperity’s place in the human universe: that an economy isn’t an end in itself, but that it’s a means to the end of a good life. That life isn’t a means to the end of wealth, but that wealth is a means to the end of a good life. That a good life is composed more of what you can’t buy than what you can. That a good life isn’t built first on disposable stuff that matters in economic terms, but on an economy that matters in human terms. That a healthy economy isn’t just one that’s less dysfunctional, but one capable of scaling higher and higher peaks of optimal function. That lives lived meaningfully well place real wealth above shareholder value, people above product, outcomes above income, and are a consequence of striving for better—instead of just “busier.” (Location 388)
  • Betterness is a real-world paradigm with which to update the pursuit of prosperity, beginning with a new linchpin for the economy, an aggregate balance sheet composed of higher-order wealth, new axioms for human exchange, optimizing for lives lived meaningfully well—and, as I’ll explore, new competitive rules. (Location 401)
  • Our institutions are failing. They’re failing us, failing the challenge of igniting real, lasting human prosperity. If institutions are just instruments to fulfill social contracts, then ours are shattering because the social contracts at their hearts have fractured. I have called it a Great Splintering, not purely an economic phenomenon, but a social one: an era when social contracts are being torn up, abrogated, betrayed, abandoned, by accident, by design, by “regulatory capture,” or simply by polities too gridlocked to progress. Broken social contracts aren’t just tidy abstractions, empty of visibly real consequences, disconnected from the noise and clamor of our messy human lives. As they break, yesterday’s ways of living, working, and playing rupture; yesterday’s organizations, from corporations to banks to nations, creak and crack. (Location 426)
    1. Business isn’t as profitable as betterness Academics have spent decades studying in great detail whether responsible companies are also more profitable companies, and three decades of evidence suggest that betterness yields greater equity returns, asset returns, and profitability. Researchers Marc Orlitzky, Frank L. Schmidt, and Sara L. Rynes found that responsibility was significantly positively correlated with financial performance: “corporate virtue,” in their words, “is likely to pay off.” Their work was a meta-analysis of 52 studies, with over 33,878 total observations. (Location 461)
  • I’m suggesting that in a resource-constrained, hungry, transparent, winner-take-all world, what we’re used to calling “responsibility” and seeing as a luxury will be akin to table stakes in tomorrow’s game, a competence necessary to enter the arena of human exchange. If you can’t demonstrate that at the very least and at the barest minimum, you’re not harming people, nature, communities, society, or tomorrow’s generations, forget about vanquishing your rivals; you probably won’t have a seat at the table. (Location 483)
  • Consider the rise of “for-benefit” corporations. They’re a new kind of corporate form, built from the ground up to create wealth, instead of being tiresomely legally bound to return maximum profit to shareholders. (Location 506)
  • In the United States, the State of the USA project, under the guidance of the National Academy of Science, is starting to utilize hundreds of indicators to measure different kinds of wealth: education, health, and the environment, to name just a few. (Location 545)
  • Poiesis—the root word of poetry—means to create, to generate. In the words of the great philosopher, Martin Heidegger, it is a transformative “bringing forth.” Companies in betterness generate new wealth, and a generative advantage means being able to multiply the Common Wealth to a greater degree than rivals. (Location 561)
  • Companies in business often can’t ignite a generative advantage, because they have chosen instead to gain competitive advantage. Beating competitors doesn’t mean that you have actually created, generated, or ignited any wealth, merely that you have either prevented others from doing so or that you have captured a larger share of the wealth that they have created. (Location 572)
  • a set of constraints about what never to do again (how else are you going to kick yesterday’s self-destructive patterns of behavior once and for all?); (Location 613)
  • The fundamental challenge twentieth-century organizations face in the twenty-first is uselessness: an inability to add to the Common Wealth. (Location 631)
  • Going from business to betterness means going from vision, mission, strategy, and objectives to ambition, intention, constraints, and imperatives. To (Location 639)
  • Ninety percent of organizations are unable to create real wealth. But ten percent of organizations are beginning to. They are corporations like Apple, Google, Pepsi, lululemon athletica, Nike, Pixar, and Whole Foods. (Location 647)
  • Those who were able to create wealth were a new kind of innovator: behavioral innovators. Innovation is often conceptualized at the level of products and services, business models, or competencies. Behavioral innovators pushed the boundaries at a higher level. They made novel, different, innovative sets of decisions compared to current rivals and historical peers. These decisions weren’t one-offs, but consistent, repeated, and predictable: novel habits about products and services offered, investments seeded, people employed, and goals sought, more sharply focused on elevating human potential. (Location 654)
  • An organization can be said to have arête when it is able to consistently, systematically, and habitually maximize human potential and minimize suffering, instead of merely maximizing near-term profit, shareholder value, or revenue. (Location 660)
  • Nike: “to help Nike, Inc. and its consumers thrive in a sustainable economy where people, profit and planet are in balance.” “lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives.” Google: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Location 689)
  • Will it create the conditions for a good life—or not? Visions can’t—and don’t—tell you. But an ambition answers the elemental question, “why are we here?” by painting a detailed picture of the specific kinds of wealth an organization wants to add to the Common Wealth, to ignite a modern conception of eudaimonia: it’s a precise, concise statement that expresses how an organization will blow past “profit” and redefine the very concept of “returns.” (Location 696)
  • Companies in betterness blow past that obsolete, outdated, tired, threadbare industrial-age idea: they have the ambition to return more than just financial capital. They are economic engines for returning the many different higher-order kinds of capital, because financial capital is the least valuable, enduring, and meaningful kind of capital. (Location 711)
  • An ambition is a concise, precise expression of an organization’s position in purpose space that answers the “why” question with a bigger, more meaningful answer than profit or mere financial returns. (Location 721)
  • It’s a superordinate goal that transcends the organization itself in three ways. First, it’s more significant than what the organization does for its shareholders. Second, it’s more enduring than the organization. And third, it’s meaningful to constituents outside the organization. (Location 734)
  • What kinds of higher-order returns do you want the world to have tomorrow that it doesn’t have today? Which kinds of precise benefits do you want to return? The first step in going out of business and into betterness is making that choice. Second, after answering which kind of wealth you should create, the next step is to understand impact: whose wealth you wish to enhance. Who will benefit most from what you put back into the economy’s buckets? Who will gain the wealth you create? To whose Common Wealth are you adding? How are you creating wealth that is truly enjoyed in common, not merely profit shared between managers and shareholders, but wealth that enriches others as well? A company in betterness must specify the “common” in Common Wealth with precision and accuracy. (Location 763)
  • Hannaford: “to help consumers find foods that offer more nutrition for the calories as they make choices in each department of our stores.” “DailyStrength was built to enable people facing life challenges to: simply and easily communicate their progress with friends, family, supporters, and have those people respond with encouragement and help find others facing the same circumstances, and exchange experiences, treatments and even hugs within a safe community setting.” (Location 781)
  • An intention is fundamentally different. It says: “We will make you better. Here is how we intend to enhance your human potential through the act of exchange: here is what you will excel at.” (Location 789)
  • So to get serious about an intention, boil it down to a set of daily doings, a set of day-to-day capabilities that will make others more capable of achieving their fuller potential. To get started crafting your own intention, you have to ask yourself: What are you going to ensure people can do today that’s meaningful in human terms? How will you honor people’s sovereignty and self-determination? (Location 834)
  • “How do we do it?” That’s the third foundational question every organization must ask. Competitive constraints and strategies both answer it, but in very different ways. The goal of a competitive strategy is, of course, to gain a selfish, near-term competitive advantage vis-à-vis rivals. But the goal of competitive constraints is to support and protect a generative advantage, a surplus in real marginal wealth. (Location 852)
  • Simply put, strategies are a set of actions we plan to take to perform our mission. Constraints are actions we will never take to ensure others can fulfill our intention. (Location 856)
  • What will you never do to your key constituency? Can you build on that constraint by buttressing it with another kind of constraint—as Whole Foods is doing? Can you list at least one constraint for each of your constituencies—one negative right you don’t have, so their human potential isn’t stifled? (Location 893)
  • Apple’s imperatives are what give it its “Appliness.” Pixar’s imperatives are what give it its “Pixarness.” Those imperatives are what define “really good work,” letting firms transcend the tyranny of the quarterly earnings report and aim for the timeless instead. (Location 933)
  • The Greeks believed human destiny flowed along two rivers of time. Chronos was the passage of sequential time, the workaday, humdrum moments of life. But every so often glimmering instants of kairos or “supreme moments” emerged—turning points, critical junctures, dependent on contingency and chance, when opportunities emerged and unexpected, unimagined, transformative new paths could be chosen. (Location 947)

public: true

title: Betterness longtitle: Betterness author: Umair Haque and Umair url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2012-06-27 type: books tags:

Betterness

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Metadata

Highlights

  • First, that companies exist to earn “profit,” in the form of financial returns, by extracting rent for their owners—shareholders—as codified by the great eighteenth-century economist David Ricardo. Second, that in a hierarchical regime of militaristic control, managers are a company’s exclusive decision makers, and that their primary responsibility is crafting strategies that let a company “win” vis-à-vis adversaries, as put into practice by the legendary Alfred P. Sloan. Third, that employees “work” on parceled-up tasks to mass-make “product” à la Henry Ford. And, finally, that at the end of the globe’s great chains of production sit the people known as “consumers” whose immediate needs companies exist to “satisfy”—an idea best codified by the great economist Alfred Marshall, the father of the now-familiar supply-demand chart. (Location 121)
  • David Ricardo. (Location 123)
  • called a good life eudaimonia. Descended from the biggest big idea in history—Aristotle’s notion that “the highest good” was the final end of all human endeavor—eudaimonia, the concept of a “good life,” went on to become the fundamental design principle of ancient Greek civilization, the raison d’être for city states, gyms, schools, and polities. But eudaimonia wasn’t an easy, comfortable, materially rich life, but one that was authentically, meaningfully rich: rich with relationships, ideas, emotion, health and vigor, recognition and contribution, passion and fulfillment, and great accomplishment and enduring achievement, exactly what “business,” “output,” and “product” seem so achingly deficient at producing. (Location 209)
  • When a person is wealthy relationally in social capital, environmentally in natural capital, managerially in organizational capital, personally in human capital, emotionally in emotional capital, and intellectually in intellectual capital, he or she might be said to be authentically, broadly, and deeply rich. (Location 221)
  • Building a national balance sheet is the single biggest step nations can take to revitalize sagging, flagging economies (or to leapfrog them entirely), so they can tell not merely how loudly the rev counter of industrial output is roaring, but whether (or not) the wheels of human prosperity are in motion. (Location 265)
  • I’ve recently proposed the idea of ethical capital, and Richard Florida, director of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, has suggested that progress depends on creative capital.) (Location 274)
  • Nor am I dictating what kinds of capital must be present in a national balance sheet; rather, I’m suggesting that the decision on which kinds of higher-order capital a national balance sheet consists of, and which categories matter more than others, is one that reflects the disparate values and preferences of different societies. (Location 275)
  • The world’s most developed countries, it seems, can only support a maximum happiness capacity of 40 percent to 50 percent: in most advanced economies, there seems to be a glass ceiling of at most 50 percent of the population describing themselves as “very happy”—one that appears to be, despite their mightiest efforts, unbreakable. The bucket, it seems, is stuck at half full. (Location 292)
  • economist Michael Heller and law scholar Lawrence Lessig have pointed out, patents are now less expressions of true intellectual wealth than tools for strategic control. They are used to create what Heller calls “gridlock”—a deliberate gumming up of entire industries and markets. (Location 300)
  • The role of the financial sector is to allocate the many kinds of capital, not to produce them. The producers of capital are fighting tooth and nail for a smaller and smaller share of the pie. Such an economy is unsustainable in the deepest sense of the word: the incentives to produce capital are drying up, and that is why little or nothing is being added back to the buckets. (Location 317)
  • the sociologist Juliet Schor has observed, “indicators of well-being have diverged significantly from measures of income over the last several decades.” (Location 339)
  • The Easterlin Paradox notes that though nations and people may grow materially richer, gains in happiness and satisfaction quickly taper off. The Jevons Paradox notes that the more efficient technology makes resource extraction, the easier it becomes to increase consumption of that resource—overusing and depleting it. The Hotelling paradox observes that though, in theory, the prices of nonrenewable resources should spike as they get scarcer (at a rate at least equivalent to interest), in practice, they consistently and systematically don’t. (Location 354)
  • The implication is that our profit margins are falling, and often we aren’t reinvesting, but earning revenues by selling our assets and, in the limit, booking liabilities instead. (Location 361)
  • The defining characteristic of a paradox is a systemic, enduring link between the right actions and bad outcomes. To realize good outcomes, you must seek, strive, and struggle to do things wrong. (Location 375)
  • in our understanding of prosperity’s place in the human universe: that an economy isn’t an end in itself, but that it’s a means to the end of a good life. That life isn’t a means to the end of wealth, but that wealth is a means to the end of a good life. That a good life is composed more of what you can’t buy than what you can. That a good life isn’t built first on disposable stuff that matters in economic terms, but on an economy that matters in human terms. That a healthy economy isn’t just one that’s less dysfunctional, but one capable of scaling higher and higher peaks of optimal function. That lives lived meaningfully well place real wealth above shareholder value, people above product, outcomes above income, and are a consequence of striving for better—instead of just “busier.” (Location 388)
  • Betterness is a real-world paradigm with which to update the pursuit of prosperity, beginning with a new linchpin for the economy, an aggregate balance sheet composed of higher-order wealth, new axioms for human exchange, optimizing for lives lived meaningfully well—and, as I’ll explore, new competitive rules. (Location 401)
  • Our institutions are failing. They’re failing us, failing the challenge of igniting real, lasting human prosperity. If institutions are just instruments to fulfill social contracts, then ours are shattering because the social contracts at their hearts have fractured. I have called it a Great Splintering, not purely an economic phenomenon, but a social one: an era when social contracts are being torn up, abrogated, betrayed, abandoned, by accident, by design, by “regulatory capture,” or simply by polities too gridlocked to progress. Broken social contracts aren’t just tidy abstractions, empty of visibly real consequences, disconnected from the noise and clamor of our messy human lives. As they break, yesterday’s ways of living, working, and playing rupture; yesterday’s organizations, from corporations to banks to nations, creak and crack. (Location 426)
    1. Business isn’t as profitable as betterness Academics have spent decades studying in great detail whether responsible companies are also more profitable companies, and three decades of evidence suggest that betterness yields greater equity returns, asset returns, and profitability. Researchers Marc Orlitzky, Frank L. Schmidt, and Sara L. Rynes found that responsibility was significantly positively correlated with financial performance: “corporate virtue,” in their words, “is likely to pay off.” Their work was a meta-analysis of 52 studies, with over 33,878 total observations. (Location 461)
  • I’m suggesting that in a resource-constrained, hungry, transparent, winner-take-all world, what we’re used to calling “responsibility” and seeing as a luxury will be akin to table stakes in tomorrow’s game, a competence necessary to enter the arena of human exchange. If you can’t demonstrate that at the very least and at the barest minimum, you’re not harming people, nature, communities, society, or tomorrow’s generations, forget about vanquishing your rivals; you probably won’t have a seat at the table. (Location 483)
  • Consider the rise of “for-benefit” corporations. They’re a new kind of corporate form, built from the ground up to create wealth, instead of being tiresomely legally bound to return maximum profit to shareholders. (Location 506)
  • In the United States, the State of the USA project, under the guidance of the National Academy of Science, is starting to utilize hundreds of indicators to measure different kinds of wealth: education, health, and the environment, to name just a few. (Location 545)
  • Poiesis—the root word of poetry—means to create, to generate. In the words of the great philosopher, Martin Heidegger, it is a transformative “bringing forth.” Companies in betterness generate new wealth, and a generative advantage means being able to multiply the Common Wealth to a greater degree than rivals. (Location 561)
  • Companies in business often can’t ignite a generative advantage, because they have chosen instead to gain competitive advantage. Beating competitors doesn’t mean that you have actually created, generated, or ignited any wealth, merely that you have either prevented others from doing so or that you have captured a larger share of the wealth that they have created. (Location 572)
  • a set of constraints about what never to do again (how else are you going to kick yesterday’s self-destructive patterns of behavior once and for all?); (Location 613)
  • The fundamental challenge twentieth-century organizations face in the twenty-first is uselessness: an inability to add to the Common Wealth. (Location 631)
  • Going from business to betterness means going from vision, mission, strategy, and objectives to ambition, intention, constraints, and imperatives. To (Location 639)
  • Ninety percent of organizations are unable to create real wealth. But ten percent of organizations are beginning to. They are corporations like Apple, Google, Pepsi, lululemon athletica, Nike, Pixar, and Whole Foods. (Location 647)
  • Those who were able to create wealth were a new kind of innovator: behavioral innovators. Innovation is often conceptualized at the level of products and services, business models, or competencies. Behavioral innovators pushed the boundaries at a higher level. They made novel, different, innovative sets of decisions compared to current rivals and historical peers. These decisions weren’t one-offs, but consistent, repeated, and predictable: novel habits about products and services offered, investments seeded, people employed, and goals sought, more sharply focused on elevating human potential. (Location 654)
  • An organization can be said to have arête when it is able to consistently, systematically, and habitually maximize human potential and minimize suffering, instead of merely maximizing near-term profit, shareholder value, or revenue. (Location 660)
  • Nike: “to help Nike, Inc. and its consumers thrive in a sustainable economy where people, profit and planet are in balance.” “lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives.” Google: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Location 689)
  • Will it create the conditions for a good life—or not? Visions can’t—and don’t—tell you. But an ambition answers the elemental question, “why are we here?” by painting a detailed picture of the specific kinds of wealth an organization wants to add to the Common Wealth, to ignite a modern conception of eudaimonia: it’s a precise, concise statement that expresses how an organization will blow past “profit” and redefine the very concept of “returns.” (Location 696)
  • Companies in betterness blow past that obsolete, outdated, tired, threadbare industrial-age idea: they have the ambition to return more than just financial capital. They are economic engines for returning the many different higher-order kinds of capital, because financial capital is the least valuable, enduring, and meaningful kind of capital. (Location 711)
  • An ambition is a concise, precise expression of an organization’s position in purpose space that answers the “why” question with a bigger, more meaningful answer than profit or mere financial returns. (Location 721)
  • It’s a superordinate goal that transcends the organization itself in three ways. First, it’s more significant than what the organization does for its shareholders. Second, it’s more enduring than the organization. And third, it’s meaningful to constituents outside the organization. (Location 734)
  • What kinds of higher-order returns do you want the world to have tomorrow that it doesn’t have today? Which kinds of precise benefits do you want to return? The first step in going out of business and into betterness is making that choice. Second, after answering which kind of wealth you should create, the next step is to understand impact: whose wealth you wish to enhance. Who will benefit most from what you put back into the economy’s buckets? Who will gain the wealth you create? To whose Common Wealth are you adding? How are you creating wealth that is truly enjoyed in common, not merely profit shared between managers and shareholders, but wealth that enriches others as well? A company in betterness must specify the “common” in Common Wealth with precision and accuracy. (Location 763)
  • Hannaford: “to help consumers find foods that offer more nutrition for the calories as they make choices in each department of our stores.” “DailyStrength was built to enable people facing life challenges to: simply and easily communicate their progress with friends, family, supporters, and have those people respond with encouragement and help find others facing the same circumstances, and exchange experiences, treatments and even hugs within a safe community setting.” (Location 781)
  • An intention is fundamentally different. It says: “We will make you better. Here is how we intend to enhance your human potential through the act of exchange: here is what you will excel at.” (Location 789)
  • So to get serious about an intention, boil it down to a set of daily doings, a set of day-to-day capabilities that will make others more capable of achieving their fuller potential. To get started crafting your own intention, you have to ask yourself: What are you going to ensure people can do today that’s meaningful in human terms? How will you honor people’s sovereignty and self-determination? (Location 834)
  • “How do we do it?” That’s the third foundational question every organization must ask. Competitive constraints and strategies both answer it, but in very different ways. The goal of a competitive strategy is, of course, to gain a selfish, near-term competitive advantage vis-à-vis rivals. But the goal of competitive constraints is to support and protect a generative advantage, a surplus in real marginal wealth. (Location 852)
  • Simply put, strategies are a set of actions we plan to take to perform our mission. Constraints are actions we will never take to ensure others can fulfill our intention. (Location 856)
  • What will you never do to your key constituency? Can you build on that constraint by buttressing it with another kind of constraint—as Whole Foods is doing? Can you list at least one constraint for each of your constituencies—one negative right you don’t have, so their human potential isn’t stifled? (Location 893)
  • Apple’s imperatives are what give it its “Appliness.” Pixar’s imperatives are what give it its “Pixarness.” Those imperatives are what define “really good work,” letting firms transcend the tyranny of the quarterly earnings report and aim for the timeless instead. (Location 933)
  • The Greeks believed human destiny flowed along two rivers of time. Chronos was the passage of sequential time, the workaday, humdrum moments of life. But every so often glimmering instants of kairos or “supreme moments” emerged—turning points, critical junctures, dependent on contingency and chance, when opportunities emerged and unexpected, unimagined, transformative new paths could be chosen. (Location 947)