Mere “balloons and t-shirts” initiatives just aren’t going to cut it today.
“BP really tried to transform itself to Beyond Petroleum [and failed]. Changing a huge organization is like trying to turn a tanker,” says Waddock. “Even if companies want to make responsible long-term decisions, they’re still under the quarterly microscope. The problem is more than any given company can deal with. It’s a problem of short-termism and the dominance of finance over productive capital.”
If these tankers can’t be turned, they’ll sink. Hope for the future lies in competition- forced transformation.
“The Googles and eBays are creatively destroying [the old paradigms]. Can regular companies keep up? I think you’ll see some social enterprises will succeed and grow bigger and begin to displace the big guys as consumers, investors, and employees turn to them,” says Waddock. “In a sense, it’s a free market process that’s constrained by values that say we want to make the world better, not worse."