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How Big Business Created the Politics of Anger


In a new blog on Harvard Business Review, “How Big Business Created the Politics of Anger,” FSG’s Mark Kramer examines how corporations contributed to the anger and frustration driving today’s political climate through practices that undermine both their competitiveness and the long-term welfare of the U.S. 

But not all corporations are partaking in these practices. Many companies understand that their success and social progress are interdependent, and FSG is privileged to work with some of these organizations through the recently launched 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. Learn more about this initiative in the excerpt below. 

“Companies are not squarely to blame for the anger and frustration that have so warped this presidential primary season. Nor are they entirely innocent. The growing economic inequality that polarizes U.S. politics is not merely the inevitable result of our free-market system; it is also a consequence of the choices our business leaders make. And those choices have contributed to the anti-business attitude that both parties have embraced.

Visionary CEOs understand the strategic link between social benefits and shareholder returns… More recently, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, led by Starbucks, the Aspen Institute, and FSG, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm that Professor Porter and I founded, has brought together three dozen leading U.S. companies to create employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth. These companies are committed to going beyond their usual hiring practices in order to fill the jobs they need by identifying new sources of talent in communities that have been left out of the national recovery. The initiative’s first three events have already resulted in 2,350 job offers.

None of this is charity. Creating shared value is a corporate strategy that delivers social benefits in order to increase profits and gain competitive advantage. Its adherents see opportunities in the synergy between corporate and societal interests that their more narrow-minded competitors miss.”

Read “How Big Business Created the Politics of Anger” >

Mark Kramer

Co-Founder, Senior Advisor, and Board Member