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Screw Business As Usual [Hardcover]

by Richard Branson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 8, 2011 1591844347 978-1591844341

RICHARD BRANSON, one of the world's most famous and admired business leaders, argues that it's time to turn capitalism upside down-to shift our values from an exclusive focus on profit to also caring for people, communities and the planet

As he writes:
"It's a vibrant and definite sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit was a driving force. Today, people aren't afraid to say, Screw business as usual!-and show they mean it.

"It's amazing how I keep coming across the same message, from bustling global cities to the townships of South Africa to small villages in India to G8 climate conferences.

"It's no coincidence that so many people are talking about the same thing. There's a real buzz in the air. Change is happening.

"People often associate me with challenges, with trying to break records while sailing the Atlantic or flying in a jet stream in a balloon or going into space with Virgin Galactic. But this book isn't just about fun and adventure and exceeding one's wildest dreams. It's a different kind of business book. It's about revolution. My message is a simple one: business as usual isn't working. In fact, business as usual is wrecking this planet. Resources are being used up; the air, the sea, the land are all heavily polluted. The poor are getting poorer. Many are dying of starvation or because they can't afford a dollar a day for lifesaving medicine.

"But my message is not all doom and gloom. I will describe how I think business can help fix things and create a more prosperous world for everyone. I happen to believe in business because I believe that business is a force for good. By that I mean that doing good is good for business.

"Doing the right thing can be profitable. I will show how this works step by step in the following pages. It's the core message of this book. I often say, 'Have fun and the money will come.' I still believe that, but now I am saying, 'Do good, have fun and the money will come.'"

Frequently Bought Together

Screw Business As Usual + Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School + Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
Price for all three: $40.73

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Editorial Reviews


"A tantalising glimpse into the workings of the global elite ... as well as plenty of food for thought for the new generation of business leaders who say they want to make the world a better place as well as turn a profit." The Economist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group. With around 200 companies in more than 30 countries, the Virgin Group has now expanded into leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, TV, radio, music festivals, finance, health, and renewable energy. Branson’s autobiography, Losing My Virginity, and his books on business, Screw It, Let's Do It and Business Stripped Bare, are all international bestsellers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (December 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844341
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a must-read for anyone interested in business, entrepreneurship, social issues, the future of capitalism, and the current challenges that face the world today. Despite its playful title, this is a substantive book that advises without preaching, that is idealistic by providing real-world examples, that tells stories about famous people by focusing on their deeds not their fame, that is a highly entertaining read at the same time as dealing with challenging issues.

Branson builds a strong case for the business world's potential to address social, economic, political and environmental issues by creating new business models and new ways of doing business. He does this not by some theoretical or pie-in-the sky fluff, but rather by stories of organizations and businesses that have done it. So his narrative is planted firmly in the real world and that is what is so inspiring and concrete - a departure from the usual nonsense that fills so many business, self-help and do-good tomes that fill the shelves these days.

Despite the underlying gravitas, the book is an easy read. The big picture is built by narrating stories about new organizations, leadership groups and businesses that are combining business and social causes. The cases are mostly related to what has been done in the Virgin Group, but also include stories about people that Branson knows personally, which includes a network of extraordinary breadth. He seems to be able to call virtually any world leader, politician, musician, movie producer or activist to form a team to deal with issues ranging from healthcare to poverty to environmental issues.

Reading a book in an interaction between writer and reader.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted more December 24, 2011
By Arfner
First off, I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of the book. I agree that businesses can and should do more with the environment and social issues. This is what drove me to read this book. I was disappointed in how the book was written. I was hoping for a book explaining how to set up a sustainable business, or what companies can do to become more sustainable. Instead, the book is all stories. If you want a feel good book, this is a great one to read. If you are looking for a more serious discussion of corporate social responsibility (CSR), then this is not the book for you. Some of the parts of the book seemed to me like he was bragging about what he has done. I had to put the book down a couple of times because I got so tired of stories, and stories about what he and his company has done. Stories should provide the emotional support to a well thought out and argued book. This book was not well thought out and argued.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading in every business school! December 10, 2011
I can't put it on the required reading list at business schools but I will make it required reading in my course - more info at [...] - and I have lots of folks from top business schools who take it.

Richard Branson has said what sorely needed to be said - that the function of business is to "do good", to solve some social problem and profits are a by-product of doing this well. He says bluntly "The focus on profit being king has caused significant negative, unintended consequences."


Branson is a billionaire and that means he has a Stentorian voice when speaking to MBAs and would be Masters of the Universe. He has also spawned - under the Virgin name - hundreds of wildly profitable enterprises and that means that lots of folks in the private equity and hedge fund world will pay attention to him even if they presently don't agree with him.

And his message is one that badly needs to be aired.

There is a pernicious doctrine floated by some economists and assiduously propagated by top business schools to the effect that it is the function of a business to concentrate on profits and "maximizing shareholder value" and any attempt to focus on social good is a dereliction of duty on the part of managers. Supposedly this "maximum profit" will enrich the shareholders who will then use it in private philanthropy for the good of society and do it better than the business could have.

There is a still more pernicious doctrine that uses "agency theory" to "align" the interests of managers with that of shareholders in this quest. The way to do this is to award senior executives massive blocks of stock.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational for budding entrepreneurs February 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a founder of a social and environmental think-tank, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to my colleagues in the world who would like to start up something that makes the world a better place. Everytime I open the book, my mind starts to spin and my heart beats faster as I get inspired by the many stories and examples Richard gave. I have learned, for example, about Skoll Foundation and his Participant Media, or about Re*Generation (youth homelessness), or about the Elders.
Caveat: this is not a social science book, so those of you who expect a rigorous treatment (with data and formulae) will not find your rigorous evidence here. If, however, you read it to find ideas and inspirations to better this world we live in, then I recommend you buy this book right away. Simply the most valuable book I have ever bought and read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a permission slip- do you want it?
This is a gift I give to many of my executive friends who are trying to gain insight around the role they play as a corporate leader and person of humanity. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mickey Mikeworth
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read
I enjoyed reading about what real coompanies can do to help thoses of us that hold back on our dreams. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James Corsey
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I thought this was a pretty good read. I enjoyed learning more about what businesses are doing to change the traditional model of profit only thinking. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Home Craftsman
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Branson is a multidimensional man
He speaks from many points of view and his vision is consistent with respect to innovation in business with a tremendous entrepreneurial flair. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
Great read about an exceptional man with spirit, guts and adventure running through his veins. Reading his stories about the good old days, parties with the rolling stones and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daryl C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for all entrepreneurs and business minded folks!
Its time for the end of profit for profits sake and to usher in the more sustainable and rewarding "BUSINESS FOR GOOD". Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr Zen
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Branson is Contagious ...
Redefining business as usual. Plant your values in a great place, sprinkle with adventure and get juiced unlocking the "higher angels" among those in your sphere.
Published 5 months ago by Barbara Henszey
4.0 out of 5 stars Branson at his best
While Richard Branson can come across as narcissistic at times this is still an amazing book. Once you get past the name dropping and into the heart of his message it really is an... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Joshua Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars The Age of Entrepreneurs
The ultimate entrepreneurial mantra: "Screw it, let's do it!"

If you are, or aspire to be an entrepreneur read this book. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Rhana Pytell
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Man
It explains what drives Sir Richard Bronson and why he has been so successful. He is a self made man.
Published 11 months ago by John Sisk
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