Excerpt from World Inc.

Chapter 5:
Inside the Corporate Mansion

I'm sure most of you see by now the recurrent benefits of Social Response capitalism. It is like compound interest at the bank. If done early and properly, you get plenty of support from regulators, partners, and communities and, over time, your profits increase many times over. But how do you put this way of thinking into effect at your firm at this time, with all of its renovations and requirements? How do you enact this type of change to better operate in this World Inc mode? Understanding these new rules of global competition, the swiftness of disclosures, and the severity of business challenges and conditions is one thing, but how do you apply it and make it work? To see the practical side of Social Response capitalism, we have to take a trip inside the corporate mansions leading the charge.

One way to help visualize the concrete challenges and opportunities facing modern multinational corporations, especially as they consider a shift to Social Response capitalism, is to think of these huge companies as a mansion. Given the global span of these companies, it may seem absurd to visualize a GE, GM, or HP in one house, but think metaphorically of this mansion as the corporate headquarters or where the company was founded. As the corporation grows, the walls of the mansion expand and the company acquires more residences and properties. But the knowledge and core competencies of the company always remain in the original building. For example, Palo Alto, California, is the headquarters of HP — but HP now operates in 180 countries. As multinationals grow and expand, there is something sacred about the location where a company or idea began. Just look at the respect that the garage where Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard developed their technology demands — it's a California Registered Landmark and Palo Alto City Historical Property. Keep this in mind as the corporate mansion foundations are made clear in Figure 15....

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Social Response Product Development in the Corporate Mansion


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