GOOD BUSINESS

Steve Hilton & Giles Gibbons

The one-sentence summary

Businesses can be a force for good if they change their working practices.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS

  • This is a manifesto for capitalism which says that companies should start becoming the solution to the world’s problems.
  • If you want to change the world, do it through business. If you want to help your business, help to change the world.
  • Be sceptical about fashionable prescriptions of Corporate Social Responsibility and instead use company skills and resources in imaginative ways to help alleviate social problems – Corporate Social Leadership.
  • It outlines current thinking on CSR and argues that campaigners for social justice and environmental protection should see business as their ally.
  • Many consumer brands are cultural forces that can make a huge difference if they use social strategies to achieve commercial aims.

ELEMENTS OF THE BOOK I PARTICULARLY LIKE

  • There are ideas on how globalisation makes the poor richer, why corporations are good for human rights, and how brands can work for social change.
  • It is full of powerful facts: Infant mortality in developing countries is down from 18% in 1950 to 6% in 1995; illiteracy is down from 70% to 30%.
  • A UK literacy campaign Valued Youth gets 14 year olds who are about to be expelled from school to teach younger children literacy skills, with a very high success rate for all involved.
  • The Reach for the Sky careers advice initiative by Sky TV had a massive impact on the quality of career choices made by UK teenagers – and increased viewing at the same time.
  • Coca-Cola has the best distribution network in Africa – and it’s refrigerated. So they joined forces with the United Nations to distribute AIDS-related drugs.