Welcome to GoodCo
Using the Tools of Business to Create Public Good
- Tom Levitt
- Welcome to GoodCo is the follow up to Tom Levitt’s critically acclaimed Partners for Good, which postulated that elements within the private sector now understood the social obligations of the corporate citizen and were willing to play that role, especially if there could be proven to be a business case for it. Welcome to GoodCo explores that change in attitude and examines how the processes, structures, purposes and tools of the private sector economy can all be turned into instruments of social progress.
Once again there are political lessons to be learned: good or responsible capitalism has become a matter of debate. What is not at issue is that the private sector has available to it vast quantities of capital, human and other resources and logistical expertise which when properly focused and applied could revolutionise the delivery of public good without compromising the voluntary principle or the public sector principle of universal access to services.
In a world in which organizations of all sizes frequently find their business practices undermining the basic principles of their customer or citizen promise, Welcome To GoodCo offers a realistic, commercially hard-nosed approach to reframing business in society; an approach that enables them to reconcile their commercial and socially responsible aspirations.
- Contents: Business: a community resource; Responsible business; A very social enterprise; The power of investment; Ethical, responsible, social, impact; The smaller corporate citizen; Market forces; The good guys; Fine-tuning; Where next? Sustainable capitalism; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
- About the Author: Tom Levitt was Member of Parliament from 1997-2010. Tom is a writer and consultant on charity partnerships whose clients include corporates, government agencies, charities, councils and SMEs; Chair of Trustees, Concern Worldwide (UK); Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby, UK. He is also a non-executive director of Digital Outreach Ltd, a director of Good Measures ethical business consultancy, a trustee of The Work Foundation and an occasional columnist for The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network.
- Reviews: ‘Society is a complex web of mutually dependent stakeholders who need each other to be successful and sustainable but who are constantly having to re-evaluate their roles and relationships as the world and our values change … this book explains the dilemmas currently being faced by these different groups and seeks to explain a way forward so that all elements of society can benefit.’
Richard Ellis, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Alliance Boots Group
‘Today our political economy should not be limited to a zero sum game about the market and the state. There are many sorts of market, good and bad. The essence of political economy is how to fashion market institutions so that they serve a broader purpose. Tom, as a politician, knows that that challenge is not just one which should be of concern for MPs and regulators, but to all of us, as managers, savers, workers and citizens.’
David Pitt-Watson, London Business School, UK
‘It would be fantastic if a future Government and EU Commission were to use his ten “demands” and the wider book as the basis for the reform of the UK and EU business regulation, to contribute to a more socially responsive and responsible capitalism. And it would be even more fantastic if every business leader were to read to the book and take the argument, case studies and “demands” as a strategy for moving their companies towards being “Good”!’
John Tizard, Independent strategic advisor, UK
‘The author's background makes this impressively researched book an important and timely contribution to debate.’
Guardian Sustainable Business, July 2014
‘Welcome to GoodCo is an engaging and accessible read. It makes an important contribution to progressive thinking on responsible capitalism…’
Progress, September 2014
‘Not many responsibility authors are able to write first hand as teacher, charity trustee, Labour MP and consultant and Tom Levitt’s new book Welcome to GoodCo is all the better for it. Levitt’s diverse experience means this book reads as credibly when exploring political machinations as it does when considering how business acts for good (though Levitt’s one CV gap is as employee of a private company!). Significantly, CR is barely mentioned until three quarters of the way in and before you get there you’ll pass one of the clearest analyses of the recent crisis I’ve come across. The book is an easy read but still poses difficult questions; some downbeat messages are countered by the upbeat tone. So, buy this for a more nuanced view on how business makes a difference and you won’t be disappointed.’
Matt Sparkes, CRG director and Global Head of CR at Linklaters LLP