Aiming Higher: 25 Stories of How Companies Prosper by Combining Sound Management and Social Vision

Overview

In an eye-opening collection of real-life stories, Aiming Higher profiles courageous CEOs, managers, and employees who view social challenges not as burdens but as opportunities - to create new markets, build motivated work forces, and attract loyal customers. They are aiming higher. Who are these business heroes and heroines? Each year, The Business Enterprise Trust - founded by television writer and producer Norman Lear - honors five companies or individuals who have shown breakthrough leadership in combining ...
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Overview

In an eye-opening collection of real-life stories, Aiming Higher profiles courageous CEOs, managers, and employees who view social challenges not as burdens but as opportunities - to create new markets, build motivated work forces, and attract loyal customers. They are aiming higher. Who are these business heroes and heroines? Each year, The Business Enterprise Trust - founded by television writer and producer Norman Lear - honors five companies or individuals who have shown breakthrough leadership in combining sound business management with social conscience. Aiming Higher presents the stories of 25 of these honorees. These inspiring narratives illuminate the complicated, gritty management challenges being met and overcome by public-spirited businesspeople. The stories are about all kinds and sizes of businesses, ranging from Xerox to Vermont National Bank to the White Dog Cafe. These compelling profile include a local school bus company that has become a powerful engine for personal growth, new jobs, and economic revitalization in a troubled inner-city neighborhood; a small travel agency that has grown to be the third-largest agency in the world by making employee satisfaction a top priority; a stock photography agency that has become a pacesetter by promoting the use of non-stereotyped, "real-life" images of women, minorities, and people with disabilities; and a bank that initiated a lending program for low-income customers. Thousands of people can now own homes - and the bank has become one of the most profitable savings and loans in the country.

Each year, The Business Enterprise Trust honors companies or individuals who have shown bold, creative leadership in combining sound business management with social conscience. Aiming Higher presents the stories of 25 of these honorees. These inspiring narratives illuminate the complicated, gritty challenges met and overcome by public-spirited business people.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1989, TV producer Norman Lear founded the Business Enterprise Trust to recognize and honor corporate social responsibility. In his foreword to this book, commissioned by the trust, he writes that "those businesses which actively serve their many constituencies in creative, morally thoughtful ways also... serve their shareholders best. Companies... do well by doing good." The book's 25 chapters illustrating this premise are divided into six topical sections: blending product innovation with social concern, business in the inner city, workplace diversity, unleashing the best in employees, the rewards of corporate citizenship and remarkable business lives. The companies profiled range from Prudential, commended for paying "Living Needs Benefits" to its sick subscribers with desperate monetary problems, to Starbucks Coffee Company for extending benefits to every employee. The actions of these corporations are admirable, but in the aggregate these pieces written by Lear's TV collaborator Bollier seem like sheer boosterism, whereas any one alone would have made an inspiring magazine article. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Author and journalist Bollier has done extensive work with the Business Enterprise Trust, People for the American Way, and writer/producer Norman Lear. Annually, the trust honors five companies or individuals who have displayed creative leadership in combining sound business practices with social conscience. From the list of honorees, Bollier has selected 25 inspiring narratives that describe the many different challenges met and overcome by public-spirited business owners and managers. Stories from businesses ranging from Levi Strauss and Company to Ben and Jerry's demonstrate how they came to see social problems as opportunities. One success story involves a small travel agency that became the world's third-largest agency (Rosenbluth International) by making employee satisfaction a top priority. Most business collections will want to add this title.Susan C. Awe, Jefferson Cty. P.L. System, Arvada, Col.
Booknews
Profiles 25 people and companies who have received The Business Enterprise Award for doing good while doing well. Praises labor, environmental, and community concerns of local banks, restaurants, and other businesses as well as such giants as Prudential Insurance, Ben and Jerry's, Starbucks's Coffee, and Xerox. No bibliography. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814403198
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 10/2/1996
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 1
1 Vermont National Bank's Socially Responsible Banking Fund: The Rich Rewards of Community Lending 9
2 Gun Denhart and Hanna Andersson: Recycling Clothes While Building Customer Loyalty 23
3 Prudential Insurance's Living Needs Benefits: Death Benefits for the Living 37
4 Mario J. Antoci and American Saving Bank: Cultivating the American Dream 53
5 Finast Supermarkets: The Ultimate Neighborhood Market 67
6 Rachel Hubka and Rachel's Bus Company: The Little School Bus Company That Could 79
7 Lou Krouse and the National Payments Network: A Creative Alternative for the "Unbanked" 93
8 Equal Opportunity at Inland Steel: How Five Managers Transformed a Corporate Culture 109
9 Julia Stasch of Stein & Company: Fighting Gender Barriers in Chicago Construction 123
10 Barbara B. Roberts and FPG International: The Power of the Image 137
11 DAKA International: Coping with AIDS in the Workplace 151
12 Jack Stack and the Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation: When Workers Play the Numbers Game 169
13 Rick Surpin and Cooperative Home Care Associates: Up From Welfare and Into the Boardroom 183
14 Hal Rosenbluth and Rosenbluth International: Putting the Customer Second - And the Employee First 197
15 Howard Schultz and The Starbucks Coffee Company: Employees as Partners in Growth 211
16 The Work/Life Programs of Fel-Pro, Incorporated: Portrait of a Family-Friendly Workplace 223
17 Judy Wicks and the White Dog Cafe: Table for Six Billion, Please! 241
18 Gail Mayville of Ben & Jerry's Homemade: Going Green at the Vermont Ice Cream Machine 255
19 GE Plastics' "Share to Gain" Program: Building Corporate Loyalty While Rebuilding the Community 268
20 Merck & Co.: Quandaries in Developing a Wonder Drug for the Third World 280
21 J. Irwin Miller: The Rewards of Servant-Leadership 299
22 James W. Rouse: Bringing Dignity and Delight to American Cities 314
23 Frank Stanton: The Man Who Built the Tiffany Network 328
24 The Haas Family of Levi Strauss & Co.: A Values-Driven Business in a Global Marketplace 339
25 The Xerox Corporation: The Pragmatic Idealists 352
Acknowledgments 366
Index 369
About The Business Enterprise Trust 373
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