THE CHARACTERISTICS OF BETTER BUSINESS
What do companies like Patagonia, Interface, IKEA, Unilever, Ørsted and Oatly have in common? They represent what we call Better Business.
A Better Business can be described as a future-ready for-profit organization that has a long-term perspective and is guided and inspired by a higher purpose that helps the organisation create, deliver and capture value to stakeholders, while minimizing ecological and social costs, engaging its business ecosystem, and even aspiring to change the world.
Our research shows that leading Better Business companies…
… have a long-term view and see business as usual as riskier than exploring new ways forward.
… show an interest in understanding the world around them and see the potential in contributing to the solutions of truly wicked problems.
… take proactive measures to co-create the future.
… proactively play on three systemic levels (their own organization, their business eco-system, and the world and society).
… have been through journeys of evolutionary change sparked by strategic insight, crisis, or even epiphanies – still, they continue to renew themselves over time.
… are guided by a higher purpose, which they have fully integrated into who they are and how they operate. Something that makes them highly attractive to talents.
… set high goals – or even Moonshots – and may even aspire to accomplish what others believe to be impossible.
… systematically work to improve their already solid foundations to further reduce their negative footprint.
… explore regenerative practices and meaningful innovation.
… apply transparent reporting practices and get rewarded by high ESG scores, which in turn attracts investor interest.
… work to challenge and support their industries and business eco-systems to elevate their practices.
… collaborate with others to change the world and society to the better.
Read more in: Better Business Better Future, by Elisabet Lagerstedt (2021)