It’s not often that I unequivocally recommend a book, but Richard Branson’s Screw Business As Usual meets all my criteria.
It’s not a do-gooder book, per se, although Branson is passionate about “doing good by doing right.”
I realize that his take on entrepreneurism will fall on deaf ears for anybody who starts a company with the prime motivation of getting rich, but even they might reconsider after reading it—Branson started Virgin so he could afford to make a difference.
And there is prime proof that doing right pays.
“Companies that consistently manage and measure their responsible business activities outperformed their FTSE 350* peers on total shareholder return in seven out of the last eight years.”
Branson believes that the right focus is your employees and your customers; take care of them and the rest will follow.
The people, stories and advice in Screw Business As Usual are about, and dedicated to, entrepreneurs, business people and anybody else who believe that there is more to work and business in the 21st century than making money.
What worked in the past isn’t going to work in the future, from top-down, command and control management to companies whose policies destroy people, resources, etc., in the name of profit.
The doing-good-by-doing-right bandwagon is picking up steam, fueled by a vocal new generation that is disgusted with business as usual and older generations (maybe not as noisy) with the same feelings who are learning to vote with their feet—as US banks so recently found out.
Business needs to recognize that if they want to keep making money they need to do it responsibly—assuming, of course, they need both workers and customers to succeed.
In other words, screw business as usual.
*FTSE 350 is the British version of the Fortune 500.
YouTube credit: Virgin Unite