DEFINITION

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. 

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 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)