I’m very pleased to say that Huffington Post contributor Peter Smirniotopoulos has given our new book a great boost with a lengthy and in-depth review, which, as its author, I am very happy to read. Peter understands what Cary Cooper and I were trying to do in terms of looking for a new kind of capitalism, a way forward after the Crash of 2008 which might just bring us to…less Crashes! Not just that but a capitalism which works for everyone, not just a few. We approached this book with a fervent belief in the capitalist system, and its power to lift people out of abject poverty, which has been demonstrated around the world; at the same time we had no starry-eyed view that it should be some kind of laissez-faire system, à la Ayn Rand. This makes no more sense than football players running around the field with no rules and no referees. In American football alone there is a big (and growing) set of rules and no less than seven people on the field to make sure those rules are followed…NOTHING laissez-faire about that! No wonder it is so popular, nothing but performance determines outcome. This is the way the capitalist system should be run.
Peter gets all this in his review, which is kind enough to praise our opening Chapter on the corporate culture of Wall Street which contributed to the mess which was created. He says:
“The High Engagement Work Culture may be worth reading just for the opening chapter, in which the authors summarize the causes of the collapse of the financial services, residential mortgage, and housing markets in the U.S. To my knowledge, no one has taken a look at the symptomatology leading up to the 2008 crash from the perspective of Wall Street’s prevailing corporate culture, with the insights only these two authors can provide.”
He does a great job of covering our case studies, of BMW and Whole Foods Market, which demonstrate that our vision of a new kind of capitalism is not just a pipe dream, but a reality being lived by the very best companies around the world. The fact that their share prices have been at record highs in the last year attests to the wisdom of this approach, and demolishes any idea that it is simply too “touchy-feely”. Like football, there is nothing “touchy-feely” to this way of running an organization; on the contrary, this is an approach that the bravest leaders take on, those who are willing to put their own egos aside and work for the good of everyone. That’s why we gave the book the title: Balancing ME and WE.
I hope you take a look at Peter’s review and see how his insights add to this discussion. While you are there, take a trip to some of his links where he has discussed related issues before. Indeed the reason I got in touch with Peter in the first place was because of such an article which he wrote, where the very first sentence pointed out that he is a 100% committed capitalist. That is the only thing to be if we want to nudge this capitalist system of ours towards something better, more sustainable, and which works for everyone.
Once again, Peter’s review is available here: http://huff.to/SFSVNw