- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 4, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1422158586
- ISBN-13: 978-1422158586
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business Hardcover – January 4, 2011
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"This is a good book. And you should read it, mark it up with a pencil, and then read it again." Triple Pundit
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Top Customer Reviews
Note: this s a long review as The New Capitalist Manifesto is a complex and unique book. It's not just a call for reform couched in populist terms, but a rather serious look at alternative ways of conducting capitalism in the future. It sits in the gaps between economics, business, environmentalism, social science and probably a few other disciplines than that. The combination makes for a complex, but accessible book that makes you think.
Haque's book is a studied look at the issue and strong advocacy for something he calls "constructive capitalism" that is based on creating close looped value cycles rather than unsustainable open-ended value chains. The book is a provocative and progressive look at a potential future for the capitalist economic system.
Recommended for anyone wondering what will come next, how companies will compete on a broader level and price and economic scale. I found the book helpful in thinking about what the future and future strategies might look like. Highly recommended for strategists and those looking to understand an implementable argument
Haque's central argument revolves around the observation that current capitalistic practices lead to what is called 'thin' value. Thin from the perspective that the value created relies on exploitation -- not in the Marxist sense -- but in the environmental sense. Resources depleted without an incentive to return them or replace them with something better.
In contrast, Haque encourages companies to create 'thick' value, which is described as generating profits by activities that create value for sustainability, authentically to people and build up rather than tear down people, communities and resources.
The books chapters
Chapter 1: A Blueprint for a better business sets the stage and makes the argument that the current type of capitalism is not sustainable. Rather than call for simply ripping it up and replacing capitalism with another system, Haque lays the groundwork for how capitalism can go through a revolution to meet the challenges we all face.
Chapter 2: Step One: The Loss Advantage / Changing value chains into value cycles discusses the notion of socio-efficiency and the value potential of limiting business loss and exploitation. This chapter goes into detail about the elements of a value cycle that Haque suggests needs to replace the value chain.
Chapter 3: Step Two: Responsiveness / From Value Propositions to Value Conversations is all about gaining agility and the ability to engage customers, suppliers and the public. Rather than a discussion about marketing 2.0, this chapter offers a look at how increased participation drives requirements for greater participation.
Chapter 4: Step Three: Resilience / From Strategy to Philosophy points out that the ability to survive is based more on your ability to constantly challenge your current business model, products and markets. Those that constantly look to disrupt themselves learn more and are more resilient than firms that seek to defend the same turf and terms of competitive advantage year after year. This chapter also makes the point that value extraction is significantly different than value creation.
Chapter 5: Step Four: Creativity / From Protecting a Marketplace to Completing a Marketplace discusses how creativity plays in this new system in identifying 'impossible' markets that can be found in the gaps in any market structure. The chapter discusses the different levels of creativity and how they apply to new ways of looking at market opportunities.
Chapter 6: Step Five: Difference / From Goods to Betters looks at the basis for creating meaningful differences in your customers, products and services. This chapter is particularly provoking in advocating a focus on creating products that support positive outcomes rather than just delivering features and functions.
Chapter 7: Step Six: Constructive Strategy / From Dumb Growth to Smart Growth covers how to create strategy and business models based on ideas such as Generosity, Creativity, Resilience, etc. This is perhaps the most challenging chapter as it seeks to offer a broader strategic model, one that has the potential to identify previously hidden sources of value and performance.
Chapter 8: Constructive Capitalism provides a summary of how the steps and concepts fit together. Its a good summary, however the topics and terms are specialized meaning that this is a place to refresh your understanding rather than a place to go for a quick summary.
Balance, not in the FOX News fair and balanced sense, but in the recognition that the system that created these issues is perhaps the best system to fix them. I would have been easy for Haque to simply join the bandwagon and call for a return to government driven, controlled and managed economies in the name of the public good. This is not to say that Haque's recommendations are a validation of the current system, rather they represent a radical redefinition of the way economies work. Any book that would upset conservatives, progressives and environmentalists considers a broad range of opinions and needs definitely is worth reading as the truth is in the cracks between them.
Comprehensive in its outlook and consideration of the ideas of what type of capitalism should come next. Haque discusses what he sees as the logical next steps for capitalism, replacing value chains with value cycles. This gives the book and its recommendations greater credibility, as it's apparent that Haque has thought many of these things through.
Use of named companies like Wal-Mart, Google, Star-Kist, among others. This helps illustrate different points, but I am not sure that Haque has studied these companies in detail or just went off of available information.
The book has an aggressive and progressive style, which sometimes gets in the way of the arguments as the author's passion shows through. Normally this would be good, but in places and in some chapters the book tries to cover too much ground and winds up dealing with issues at a more superficial level than intended.
The examples and descriptions used to illustrate Haque's points are rather general and lack specificity. It is more like he is looking for some examples to fit his description than capture the conscious decisions by companies to change how they compete.
The book is light in the area of the new kinds of management and management tools required to make this work. This is a significant gap as achieving these ideas requires adjusting management's approach which is largely based on cost and resource control. This is an area for future research and insight as the tools you used in the 20th century value chain cannot be expected to deliver different results in the 21st world.
The book is also light on technology. Its assumed that information and technology are parts of the future, its just that their role in constructive capitalism is not as prevalent as one would expect given technologies role in both empowering and exploiting people, economies and the environment.
Overall, this is a unique book, one that has few to compare it to as it deals with broad issues and trends in a directive and focused manner. Recommended reading for people who like to disrupt their own thinking and learn more by being challenged than having their beliefs confirmed.
PS Lately I have been referring back to this book and came to the thought that this book may be better off purchased in hard copy rather than the Kindle version, like I did, to make annotation and highlighting more usable.
The strength of the book is in the deep thought Haque has given to its concepts. Rather than give quick tips and tricks for "recession proofing" your business, he goes deep into today's economic challenges and provides an entirely new framework for how we should think about business in the 21st century. Haque points out that today's world hardly resembles the world in which industrial age prosperity flourished. That was a big, empty, stable world. Today, our planet is more like an ark: tiny, crowded, and fragile. Growth in the industrial era was fueled by unsustainable practices, practices that shift costs to and borrow benefits from people, communities, society, the natural world, or future generations. While that may have worked in a big, empty world, we are no longer living in such a world. Therefore, argues Haque, we must change our way of thinking about business.
The examples and data Haque uses to illustrate these points are interesting and perfectly on point. He isn't just saying that we *should* do business differently, he effectively makes the case that we absolutely must or be prepared to face dire economic consequences. While the descriptions and examples of companies utilizing the cornerstones of 21st century capitalism are deep and detailed, this book is not an instruction manual for how to turn your business around. Rather, it's a strong case for why our old form of capitalism has failed us and a general outline for how we can begin to turn our currently reality around and lay the foundation for long-term economic prosperity and stability.
I recommend this book for anyone with a practical or academic interest in business, economics, or entrepreneurship. The ideas in The New Capitalist Manifesto provide a useful framework for thinking about the cornerstones of 21st century capitalism. Examples from Google, Walmart, Starbucks, Nike, Apple, and Whole foods illustrate how top brands are already integrating an appreciation of these cornerstones while propelling their business.
The end of each chapter also includes a condensed bullet-point summary of the concepts and high-level ideas covered. So while this book is in many ways academic, it is also incredibly accessible.
The New Capitalist Manifesto is a must-read. Haque's framework is both novel and interesting. The work is critical for anyone who wants to understand the world financial collapse and how we must now lead our way out of it, building a new, constructive capitalism creating enduring, meaningful, sustainable value.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The clue to the message of this book is disruptive.Read more