Long-Term Capitalism Challenge

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= research project by Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Innovation


"Specifically, we're looking for stories (real-world case studies) and hacks (boldly original ideas) that offer up the most progressive practices and disruptive ideas that tackle the challenge of making our organizations more:


Capitalism degenerates into narrow self-interest without a strong ethical foundation.

   * How do we focus the entire organization on a higher purpose and embed such virtues as generosity and selflessness into everyday interactions, evaluations, and reward systems?
   * How do we measure the ethical or moral climate of a company, and what is the dashboard?
   * What does it mean for individuals at all levels to act as wise stewards of organizational values, resources, and stakeholder well-being?
   * What kind of a forum or process could we create that would allow individuals to freely share and discuss ethical dilemmas?
   * In what ways might extreme transparency preserve and promote the highest purpose of the organization?


Vision and perseverance are critical to value creation and highly vulnerable to short-termism.

   * How do we stretch management timeframes and perspectives?
   * What does it mean to articulate and instill a vision compelling enough to inspire sacrifice, stimulate innovation, and hedge against expediency?
   * How might we re-balance compensation and measurement systems to provide incentives for long-term value creation along with short-term performance?
   * What tactics or capabilities might we develop to earn some slack from investors?
   * What kind of incentives and measurement systems could we devise to encourage internal entrepreneurs and nurture a varied portfolio of opportunities?


Capitalism cannot operate in a social vacuum, and profits and shareholder return can no longer be the only measures of a company's value-add.

   * How do we eradicate the pervasive zero-sum mentality in business and embed the positive-sum view of stakeholder interdependence into operations at every level?
   * How do we build the consideration of social return into every conversation and every decision at every level in the organization?
   * How could we embed social goals into an organization's innovation agenda and processes? In other words, how might we encourage not just social responsibility, but social entrepreneurship?
   * What kind of measurement and reward systems would give significant weight to social impact created by individuals and the wider organization?"