My Corporate Social Impact Summer Reading List
When I head out for vacation today my bags will be weighed down by all the books I’m taking along to try to keep current on thinking in the burgeoning corporate social impact space.
I know I won’t get through all of this library, but if you too are hungry for fresh thinking on “doing well by doing good” these are the volumes at the top of my list:
Good Is The New Cool: The Principles of Purpose by Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones.
Just reading the forward called “Why We Wrote Good Is The New Cool” has me hungry to devour this! Through their consultancy, Aziz and Jones have interacted and worked with leaders at many companies over the past five years and drawn useful lessons on how businesses can make meaningful progress at creating social impact. While idealistic, the authors are “painfully aware” of the many major challenges facing those who try to balance “profitability and prosperity, sustainability and social equity.”
Quantum Marketing: Mastering The New Marketing Mindset For Tomorrow’s Consumers by Raja Rajamannar.
Written by the chief marketing officer of Mastercard, Rajamannar compares the revolution taking place marketing to the way that quantum physics stepped in to tackle issues that classical physics couldn’t explain. I’m particularly eager to read his chapters on “Power In Partnerships,” “Purpose as an Imperative” and “Ethics and Brand Karma.”
Sludge: What Stops Us From Getting Things Done And What to Do About It by Cass Sunstein
Cass Sunstein goes from having written an extremely influential book on choice architecture called “Nudge” to “Sludge” with this thin tome on the burdens of red tape and the importance of creating systems that remove unnecessary paperwork in order to better deliver social outcomes (e.g. social services, education, medical help.”
Although a professor at Harvard Law School, Sunstein is more than just an academic pontificating from the sidelines. He was administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs during the Obama administration, a perch from which he led a team of 50 people who tried to better design government programs.