Over the course of this series, we have outlined a case for Breakthrough Capitalism. We successfully move towards our Breakthrough scenario when business, government, community, and entrepreneurial leaders work together to change the rules of the game in the key systems in which they operate. Among other things, this involves transforming how investors, suppliers, customers, employees, and competitors define, value, and pursue social impact.
Good piece by John Elkington (read his book ZERONAUTS
We must move from change-as-usual framings to breakthrough strategies. As Justin Adams (the former head of BP’s Emerging Business & Ventures) argues, it’s time to collapse the easy but misleading dualisms, the stark blacks and whites, and see the world as it is: complex and dynamic. Fossil fuels, for example, do a great deal of good, as well as much harm. But don’t expect transformative change to come from incumbents, most of whom will fight tooth-and-nail for the status quo.
To deal with black swans, we instead need things that gain from volatility, variability, stress and disorder. My (admittedly inelegant) term for this crucial quality is “antifragile.” The only existing expression remotely close to the concept of antifragility is what we derivatives traders call “long gamma,” to describe financial packages that benefit from market volatility. Crucially, both fragility and antifragility are measurable.
But another finding has also started to influence the current debate on growth: poor people within a country are less happy than rich people. In other words, above a low level of sufficiency, peoples’ happiness levels are determined much less by their absolute income than by their income relative to some reference group. We constantly compare our lot with that of others, feeling either superior or inferior, whatever our income level; well-being depends more on how the fruits of growth are distributed than on their absolute amount.