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Your Greatest Business Opportunity: Solving Social Deficits

Michael Porter on why creating shareholder value is simply not enough anymore. What deeper purpose is your company innovating toward?
COLLABORATORS Michael Porter
How business can solve social deficits and prosper.
photo by fantaz

"The Competitive Advantage of Nations"

“The purpose of making money is tired. It’s time we had a higher purpose in business. And, it turns out, the best way to make money is to have a higher purpose.”

β€” Harvard University professor, author, and management consultant Michael E. Porter speaking earlier this month to more than 100 fast-growth entrepreneurs from the Middle East honored by AllWorld for driving global innovation and employment. His message:

“Social deficits represent the biggest challenges β€” and opportunities β€” on the face of the Earth. We in business are the only ones who can change this world. Our challenge is to figure out how to meet those social needs with unique business models.”

“All great business strategies for the next two to thirty years will have a social dimension. Great innovation will emerge not from technology but from social issues. And the great thing about capitalism is it’s scalable. It’s sustainable. And it’s performance based. We can keep doing it forever if we do it right.”

THE PLUS

Michael Porter's remarks came from the AllWorld Summit@Harvard, an invitation event for 100 entrepreneurs from the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, India, and Turkey. Honored for driving growth and innovation amid challenging business and social circumstances, the business leaders in attendance are growing their businesses, on average, 60% a year -- that's 10 times the rate of the private sector in their countries.

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