One of the 2014 Best Books for Leaders chosen by the Center for Courage and Renewal.
The notion of responsible business has infiltrated our markets, and "going green" is now a part of our mindset. But, sustainability as we know it is not enough. Flourishing—the aspiration that humans and life in general will thrive on the planet forever—should be a key goal for every business today. This is a bold concept, like sustainability was a decade ago. Just as sustainability has become a matter of course, so too will flourishing become a cornerstone of business tomorrow.
How are companies to attain this big-picture goal? Drawing together decades of research along with in-depth interviews, Flourishing Enterprise argues that many strategic, organizational, and operational efforts to be sustainable reach the potential of flourishing when they incorporate one additional ingredient: reflective practices. Offering more than a dozen such practices, this book leads readers down a path to greater business success, personal well-being, and a healthier planet.
Readers will find that adding reflective practices to existing business efforts does not require more work; it simply changes the way we do our work and, more importantly, the results we achieve. Cultivating emotional and spiritual health is the next frontier; this future-oriented guide develops these core competencies while stretching the ongoing conversation about profitable, sustainable business.
About the authors
Chris Laszlo is Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management, where he is Faculty Research Director at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. A Visiting Associate Professor at Claremont Graduate University's Drucker School of Management, he is co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners and author of Embedded Sustainability, Sustainable Value, and The Sustainable Company.
Judy Sorum Brown is a poet and leadership educator. She is the author of A Leader's Guide to Reflective Practice and The Art and Spirit of Leadership. She is a Senior Fellow in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Case Western Reserve University's Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. She has served as a White House Fellow and as Vice President of the Aspen Institute.
"Organized around the notion that flourishing—the aspiration that humans and life in general will thrive on the planet forever—should be a key goal for every business today, this book advocates that businesses purposely connect with the natural world to promote sustainable practices . . .Flourishing is about prospering in a healthful and vigorous way supported by a positive environment . . . Summing Up: Recommended."
—G. E. Kaupins, CHOICE
"Academics Laszlo and Brown take a fresh look at sustainability, claiming there is a gap between talk about sustainability and the ability to actually create value from it . . . This is a road map for the future, with creative solutions for current leaders and those aspiring to be."
—Mary Whaley, Booklist
"Drawing together decades of research along with in-depth interviews, Flourishing Enterprise argues that strategic, organizational, and operational efforts to be sustainable reach the potential of flourishing when they incorporate one additional ingredient: reflective practices. Offering more than a dozen such practices, this book leads readers down a path to greater business success, personal well-being, and a healthier planet."
—Best Books for Leaders 2014 from the Center for Courage and Renewal
"A much needed business manifesto that shifts the focus of corporate sustainability to the pursuit of profit opportunities aimed at solving global challenges instead of only doing less harm. Through practices that reconnect us to what we care deeply about, it proposes to harness creativity and collaboration in service of a more prosperous and flourishing world."
—L. Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions
"The genius of this book lies in its marriage of inspiration with investigation, poetry with practice, and resilience with research. Its long view sets it apart from other books on the topic, and takes the conversation about business, sustainability, and spirituality from the margins into the mainstream."
—Margaret Benefiel, author of Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader
"Flourishing Enterprise is one of the most important books of the 21st century. It elucidates what we all long for: genuine happiness and how to align our spirituality and our vocation—our life's work. It offers the possibility for co-creating flourishing communities and enterprises of genuine well-being."
—Mark Anielski, author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth
"Flourishing Enterprise lays out a compelling case and pathway for business to help catalyze a world where all people and life can flourish. I applaud its inspiration and vision for how each of us can create the world to which we aspire for ourselves and our children."
—Paul Rice, President and CEO, Fair Trade USA