Jean Lievens: Michael Porter on Businesses Solving Problems, Profit as Sign of Sustainable Solution — Never Mind the Details (e.g. True Cost Economics)

Commercial Intelligence
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

Robert Jones

It appears that Michael Porter is having an attack of conscience after recognizing the results of his life’s work. “Where are all the resources?” he asks, and then answers, “In business.” Well, ummm…DUHHH! It took him his whole career to figure this out? After his entire life of saying, “Profit is the magic” for business, suddenly he thinks that “business profit from solving social problems” ‘s the answer for mankind’s social problems. “Take all this profit and redeploy it into social problems…” vs. “Take the massive social issues and make them profitable to solve…” Right. I don’t suppose Porter has looked at the private prison industry lately. Businesses don’t solve problems. They manage problems, and treat problems (like cancer), but solving problems is a one-and-done, and that’s just not what business does.