Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The Change Master

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Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Category

“I have a dream” for how America can help Haiti

Posted by rosabethkanter on January 14, 2010

Our hearts and our aid must go out to the people of Haiti. These are our neighbors. Thank you, President Obama, for mobilizing swift action to save lives.

As the magnitude of the tragedy unfolds, I have a dream. I have a dream about what a strong American response to this disaster could mean.

Perhaps we can take a pause from partisan politics to think about this tragedy in the midst of an impoverished nation. We can help now and also help with the rebuilding, to show that our wealth and might can contribute to our region over the long haul – and while we’re at it, perhaps see what work remains to be done on our own continent in New Orleans where Katrina damage remains. Perhaps we could vow to come the aid of US citizens who still suffer after the first relief efforts end.

Perhaps the bailed-out bonus baby bankers could lend their private planes and empty their pockets to help – or sponsor AmeriCorps teams that could be deployed to the island. Perhaps Congress could agree on passing a health care bill of a different sort, to add support for non-profit groups such as Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health or Doctors without Borders to work in Haiti. Or perhaps politicians could rethink immigration restrictions, or provide support for communities that open their doors to survivors.

This is only a dream. But with Martin Luther King Day coming up on Monday, why not have a dream of calling on our better selves?

And, pragmatically, we could shore up our leadership in the Southern Hemisphere where the politics are running against us, while polishing our humanitarian image elsewhere.


Posted in Management, Smarter Communities, Social Entrepreneurship | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in Corporate Citizenship, Leadership, Small Business, Social Entrepreneurship | Leave a Comment »