Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The Change Master

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How to Go from Small to Super?

Posted by rosabethkanter on October 30, 2009

honest+tea+IISmall business is by far the leading job creator, and entrepreneurship the leading engine of American economic renewal. As unemployment swells, small business prowess is needed more than ever. But can a small company be a SuperCorp, like progressive larger companies such as IBM and Procter & Gamble?

Undoubtedly some smaller companies can leap tall hurdles in a single bound — or, in Google’s case, leap from zero dollars to billions in less than ten years. Although flying that high is rare, small companies can gain power through strategic social responsibility, whether their products are chocolate chips or computer chips. Among my candidates for SuperCorp of the Future is a Boston residential real estate developer with 60 employees and big growth ambitions. The founder is firmly committed to end-to-end responsibility for his subcontractors’ work, their vendors’ quality, and his tenants’ amenities. He values community service, green building technology, and workplace happiness. He thinks this is why his company remained profitable during the worst real estate crisis in decades.

This isn’t idealism; it’s Organization 2.0, a practical response to 21st century economic and social demands. Consider four ways any enterprise can create innovation, profits, growth, and social good in the same small package. More at HarvardBusiness.org

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