What Is Business For? Cast Your Vote!

From HBR

How do we renew the soul of and reimagine it for a new age and a new set of challenges? That was the question we put to a global community of hackers and innovators in the Long-Term Capitalism Challenge. Specifically, what real world experiment or bold ideas are you advancing to accelerate the shift toward a more principled, patient, and socially-accountable capitalism?

In just two-and-a-half months, we received some 148 entries from leaders, thinkers, and innovators of all stripes, from every corner of the globe. The diversity of ideas was as striking as the diversity of the contributors. We learned about initiatives and transformation at the firm level and the ecosystem level, from the realms of nonprofits, for-profits, hybrid organizations and coalitions of competitors.

We heard about embedding the ethos of community and citizenship at the deepest levels within an organization; pushing the boundaries of sustainability, transparency, and inclusion; reinventing metrics and developing new feedback loops; redesigning management education; and fundamentally rethinking what is for, who it serves, and what it means to create value.

We were looking for depth, originality, clarity, and the ability to inspire and instruct in equal measure. We found those qualities in a remarkable number of the entries — and were hard-pressed to advance just 24 finalists to the next round.

Along with our partners at HBR and McKinsey, we’re delighted to announce those finalists today (in alphabetical order):

Progress Out of Poverty: Business Intelligence for Those in the Business of Helping the Poor
Story Lindsey Alexander and Steve Wright

Management Innovation According to Nature’s Genius
Hack by Chris Allen

The Sustainable Plant: Grainger’s Pilot in Sustainable Innovation on the Factory Floor
Story by John Baldzic

Ashoka’s Hybrid Value Chain: Revving the Engine of Sustained Global Prosperity and Social Value
Hack by Valeria Budinich

Inside-Out Transformation: A Hybrid Business Model for a Converging World
Story by Gib Bulloch

DIRTT: A Story of DIRTTBags Revolutionizing the Building Industry
Story by Rosalynn Dodd and Houston Peschl

Hacking Executive Compensation with Dynamic Incentive Accounts
Hack by Alex Edmans

Relationship Coffee: Creating Shared Value with Transparency and Trust
Story by David Griswold

Innovating in Well-Being — The Creation of Sustainable Value at Natura
Story by Luciana Hashiba

Quantifying Well-Being and Impact Can Drive Investors to Build a Better World
Hack by R. Paul Herman, co-authored by Gayle Keck, Avary Kent, Nicholas Gower

Accelerating Innovation for the City of San Francisco
Story by Christopher Ireland and Jay Nath

Best For the World: Redefining Success in Business
Hack by Andrew Kassoy

Valuing Nature: How Responsible Water Use Sustains Business, Communities and Ecosystems
Story by Greg Koch

How Sustainability Is Becoming a Driver of Growth for Unilever
Story by Thomas Lingard

It’s Time for a New Metaphor Beyond “Ethics” and “Responsibility”
Hack by Kevin McKouen

Bridging the Leadership Gap with Moral Imagination
Hack by Blair Miller

The Mondragon Cooperative Experience: Humanity at Work
Story by José Luis Lafuente and Fred Freundlich

Develop and Support the DNA of a New Capitalism: The For-Benefit Enterprise
Hack by Heerad Sabeti

Fixing Corporate Sustainability Reporting Standard
Hack by Galit A. Sarfaty

Daviplata, Financial Inclusion for All
Story by Juan Carlos Rojas Serrano

Panera’s Experiment in Human Nature: Let Customers Decide What to Pay
Story by Ron Shaich

How Novo Nordisk’s Corporate DNA Drives Innovation
Story by Susanne Stormer

CSR 2.0
Hack by Wayne Visser

Nike’s Gameplan for Growth
Story by Lorrie Vogel and Agata Ramallo Garcia

Please check out the finalist stories and hacks (and explore all of the entries here and add your comments and ratings. They’ll make a difference as finalists update and build on their entries for final judging. We’ll announce the winners of the challenge here the week of June 4th.

You can also meet many of the winners from all three rounds of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation at the MIX Mashup on June 19, 2012, in San Francisco. The event is a day-long gathering of the vanguard of management innovators, pioneering leaders, courageous innovators, and agenda-setting thinkers, designed to unpack the fundamental design principles for 21st century organizations, to learn from the most progressive management experiments and initiatives we’ve discovered, and to equip everyone with the most powerfully practical approaches to taking on the status quo. We’ll announce the grand prize winners of the M-Prize at the event.

You can learn more and apply to attend here.


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