A Clear Call of Hope
by Julian Mendoza
Managing Director, Matrixed Strategic Solutions
A REVIEW OF
When It Comes to Solutions — Both Local and Global — Businesses Are Now More Powerful Than Government
Reviewed February 20, 2007
A very compelling book, Dr. Piasecki's World Inc. argues that socially responsible corporate citizenship is coursing into the mainstream. Dr. Piasecki presents evidence from macro economic and political developments, as well as empirical specifics in how top companies such as GE, HP, and Toyota demonstrate this sensibility in specific terms of investments and products.
With an impassioned voice, the author speaks from his personal history of thought leadership and involvement with corporate players — inspiring us with this message that the mainstreaming has begun, but candid as well about the extent of structural damage that we have created and have yet to correct.
The author renders a parallel among (a) natural ecology, (b) corporate social responsibility, and ultimately (c) individual integrity: that an organism is rejected ultimately by its environment, unless the organism adapts itself into a benevolent residency.
With his long history as a renowned consultant to corporate players on practical environmental responsiveness, Dr. Piasecki is coldly pragmatic about how change is often forced. The hope he holds high, however, comes from specific examples — specific, current actions that are developing into a strategy for sustainability, quite beyond any tokenism.
Religious scholars and theoretical physicists are similar in a yearning towards an all-integrating single truth. They seek an integrity, whether that ultimate value sought is economic, moral or religious. Corporate integrity, according to Dr. Piasecki, must be sought in responsible citizenship, or face rejection.
Humans tend to have a poor sense of their having lived only very small sliver of time, overestimating their own significance to the universe, while underestimating the destructiveness of a convenient but conscienceless strategy premised mainly on economic efficiency. That 51 of the 100 world's largest economies are now corporations certainly makes the point even more poignant.
Dr. Piasecki in World Inc. is somber, sometimes stern, with the warning that if friction points are not resolved in everyday, gradual terms, then a tectonic correction will come in a cataclysmic quake.
The author is pragmatic, recognizing that political history tends to be Hegelian, a ratcheting of sometimes opposing forces — and why we still have to maintain the pressure towards social responsibility.
But Dr. Piasecki's message ultimately is a message of hope: that significant leaders are recognizing that good citizenship is simply good business. This book is a distant bell sometimes softened in the early mist, but ever a clear call of hope.