Construction business has moved a long way from Milton’s ‘the only purpose of business is business’ with many seeking to adopt more of a socially responsible approach, sometimes through choice, more often through client driven procurement requirements. But can businesses rooted in capitalism really morph into something that drives a more responsible sector, one that embraces a collaborative, sharing, responsible economy?
In boardrooms and executive suites around the world, business leaders – those people who are truly leading and not just managing their companies – are writing a new chapter of capitalism.
The new chapter seeks to preserve (and expand) the gains in quality of life, longevity, health and well-being and prosperity that are the best results of this economic system while working to ensure that those benefits are universally shared and they do not come at the expense of the Earth’s vast – but finite – natural resources.
The next chapter of capitalism is where the performance of the private sector is in harmony with the progress of society.
The test for the ‘next chapter in capitalism’ will be when social metrics such as CSR, Community Engagement, Sharing, Responsible and Restorative Sustainability, gain a place on the construction board room agenda equal to or over riding the historic cost and profit metrics.
And, as John Friedman questions who will write this next question in capitalism, so we should ask who will write the next chapter in construction business.