Philip Whiteley's Blog

April 30, 2013

Radical Shift: Leadership book challenges economic and political beliefs

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 9:31 am

Following the banking crisis and amid increasing environmental pressures, it is clear that the dominant business model in the west is unfit for purpose, and that the dash for short-term growth at any cost has led to economic ruptures and, in some cases, ruin.

There are many books that demonstrate the benefits of enlightened leadership, engaged employees and environmental protection. New Normal, Radical Shift – now available for sale – is different. As well as charting the evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of strong leadership, it questions the habits that undermine good practice. The authors, Neela Bettridge and Philip Whiteley, have used their experience as, respectively, executive coach and journalist, to explore the beliefs that have encouraged many to believe the opposite: that exploiting the workers and the environment maximizes corporate profits. They chronicle the damage that such cynical beliefs have brought, and discuss their origins in political theories, forming the momentous conclusion that the ‘left-right’ way of viewing economics and society is profoundly flawed.

New Normal, Radical Shift calls for a fundamental renewal of the business model, and a much higher priority for governance and sustainability, including environmental sustainability, in political circles.

The authors report how the organizations that have hit crisis – many western banks, and those firms brought down by accountancy scandals or reckless merger activity – followed the cynical fads that had their roots in political ideology. By contrast, many principled organizations that refused the dash for short-term or speculative profits have proved to be more profitable as well as more ethical and sustainable. The book sets out an alternative business model that is at once more practical and more positive. It features case studies with leading employers that have delivered for all their stakeholders. These include: Westpac, ISS, the Prospect trade union, and Marks & Spencer.

Neela Bettridge says: ‘The most effective business leaders understand that the modern corporation has high levels of inter-dependence and requires correspondingly high levels of cooperation. This is an inescapable reality, not a “nice-to-have” extra. In my coaching work, I encourage individuals to become emotionally, spiritually and analytically intelligent. This book explains the context and the commercial relevance for such disciplines.’

Philip Whiteley says: ‘For decades, working as a business journalist, the priorities of management fads have struck me as illogical and damaging. In particular, the tendency to overlook the importance of employee relations, despite its fundamental importance to how the organization functions, is a major weakness. I’m delighted to partner with Neela to put together a comprehensive book that seeks to rectify this and other weaknesses.’

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