Good Business – The Talk, Fight, Win Way to Change the World

As Environmental, Social, and Governance – so-called ESG principles continue to move to the forefront, the release of Bill Novelli’s new book, “Good Business – The Talk, Fight, Win Way to Change the World” could not be more perfectly timed. In a 1970 essay, the economist, Milton Friedman, noted the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits and its only responsibility is to its shareholders.  In over 40 years that have passed, things have certainly changed. In this must read book for everyone currently in the business world, as well as business students and instructors, Novelli cites with clarity the imperative for managing a business today and into the future.   That imperative is understanding how to integrate social and environmental strategies to not only improve financial performance but create greater good for other stakeholders and society as well. With investors now actively seeking investment portfolios that reflect and support sound finance with a “greater good” strategic perspective, readers will be pleased to know that the rising global business leaders under Novelli’s wing are going to be well-informed and ready to ensure the requisite balance of positive financial, social, and environmental outcomes. Mike Roman, President, CertainPoint Strategies, L.L.C., Non-resident Senior…

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As We Address Climate Change Everyone Has Responsibility

Climate change and greenhouse gas reduction efforts got front page headlines in the last week.  Those headlines pointed to three of the international energy companies, with ExxonMobil and Chevron hearing from their shareholders, while Royal Dutch Shell was dealt a precedent-setting ruling from the district court in The Hague. Many reports mentioned that as a result of shareholder activism and court action, these companies, as well as others in the energy industry, had been put on notice. But there is another headline that should be forthcoming.  It should reflect that these companies are not alone. Climate change and related issues require coordinated communication and well informed and fact-based action.  Shareholders, lawmakers, and for that matter, all users of energy, are on notice as well.  They all have their own important responsibilities and obligations. Most importantly, there is an immediate need to communicate a better understanding how we use energy, what energy sources drive our lives and economy today, and how realities of science and available technology will affect the transition timelines needed to meet climate driven emissions reduction targets. Despite some imposed mandates and an understandable and necessary level of urgency, transition will, in some cases, still take decades to achieve.…

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Of Breaking Points and Survival

As a new administration and Congress take the reins, Americans are yearning for a return to something that seems a little more like what we remember as normal day-to-day life. Almost everyone has been impacted by the pandemic in some way, and sadly, some much more than others. Like many, I have personally seen the devastating impact of Covid-19 taking the lives of friends. The impacts of the pandemic are well known. They include the exhausted first responders, and the researchers and medical staff who have in record time developed and administered vaccines to slow the virus. If that is not enough, we now see a resurging, new, and more pernicious variant of this virus. Hospitals and their staffs are at their breaking points but continue to treat and fight for the survival of every patient in their care. Amid all of this, there is an entire segment of our economy that is also victim to the pandemic, and we must not lose sight of their plight. The small businesses, entrepreneurs, and their families are all victims. They are mentioned because they are, in fact, the backbone of our U.S. economy – and of economies across the globe – and…

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It is Time for the Next Greatest Generation

Sitting in my home office, one of millions appropriately practicing social distancing and adjusting to a new way of life in the face of the Coronavirus,  I see a country confronted with one of the most uncertain and difficult times many of us may have faced.  At the same time, I am also reminded of our history as a country, and the incredible dedication and contributions of the Greatest Generation. Tom Brokaw, author of the 1998 book, “The Greatest Generation” profiled the brave Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and went on to fight in World War II, as well as those who contributed to the war effort on the home front. Brokaw wrote that these men and women fought not for fame or recognition, but because it was the “right thing to do.” My dad, a U.S. Marine Iwo Jima survivor, passed away last year at the age of 95.  My brothers and I always understood how difficult his early years were, being raised as an orphan. And then suddenly, at 19 years of age and confronted with the need to defend our country, he bravely and patriotically volunteered to enlist and do what had to…

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