When we separate ownership and equity from accountability, we end up with dysfunctional organizational behavior. When the shareholder perspective is the only reason for a corporation’s existence, profit becomes a destructive rather than a creative force, taking management’s focus away from the long-term sustainability of the organization, its people and the communities in which it exists, and it can result in great harm to the planet.
When equity and ownership are aligned with contribution and accountability, the profit incentive can help reinforce the value creation process of the firm. Those most involved in value creation are rewarded with the upside of their initiative, helping to build a positive feedback loop that creates a true and deep sense of ownership in any enterprise.
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Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital is one of those mind-bending books that deserves to be read by a large audience. It tells a behind-the-scenes story of capitalism that we don’t often hear; one that shows how our preoccupation with shareholder “primacy” distorts capitalism in ways that generate serious harm for society and the planet. Kelly shows how our current problems with capitalism are not necessarily intrinsic to market forces or even capitalism itself, but to the particular version of it that we have today.
Facebook users invest massive time, energy and social capital in building the underlying value of this service, so what would it look like to really open the company’s IPO in ways that helped its user build a fuller sense of equity?
Latest Articles on Ownership and Accountability:
- Announcing The Vital Edge! Welcome to my new website, and the “disruptively good business” of The Vital Edge.
- Week in Review: May 14, 2012 Four mini-posts on: Google’s new ‘knowledge graph” and the semantic web, the sad story of Flickr (and CarPoint), why Justin Bieber has a higher Klout score than President Obama, and the future of market research. Phew…
- Week in Review: May 7, 2012 Three interesting articles: focusing on market efficiency, governance, and a high-tech evolution of the old trading company.
- The Divine Right of Capital – A Summary To fix capitalism, it helps to first have a good diagnosis of the problems. Start here.
- If Companies are People, Where’s Their Soul? The U.S. Constitution is the foundation of our political system, but to find its spirit, we must look to the Declaration of Independence. When our nation struggles with difficult questions, it is this document that serves as a North Star to keep us on course with our founding vision. One such question that we wrestle with today is ...
- Why Facebook Needs to (Really) Open Up its IPO Facebook users invest massive time, energy and social capital in building the underlying value of this service, so what would it look like to really open the company’s IPO in ways that helped its user build a fuller sense of equity?
- Citizens United v. United Citizens: Building a Movement to Drive Money Out of Politics This article originally published on the Huffington Post. Friday, January 21st, marks the one-year anniversary of “Citizens United,” a Supreme Court case that dramatically accelerates the corruptive force of money in U.S. politics. When money flows in our economy, it’s a fuel that helps businesses flourish and people make a living. When money flows in our political ...
Antique stock ticker image from donjd2. Thank you.