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Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take Hardcover – 5 October 2021

4.7 out of 5 stars 223 ratings

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Review

Named as one of "5 Books Entrepreneurs Should Read Immediately If Not Sooner" by Inc. magazine

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Bloomberg

Named a top 10 Book of 2021 by Børsen

"This is a book for our time, relevant to everyone who wants to make a difference." -- Institute of Leadership and Management's EDGE Journal

"...the greatest value of this book is in the practical detailed guidance" -- Developing Leaders (IEDP)

"The bottom line is that Net Positive clearly lays out the case that businesses should be able to do well by doing good. Drawing on the important example of Unilever during Polman's tenure, it's also a high-level guide for organizations to more aggressively contribute to combating climate change and inequality." -- Charter

"It makes a more optimistic case for courageous progressive companies and their leaders, who can offer practical, positive ways of tackling environment, social and governance issues." -- Financial Times

Advance Praise for Net Positive:

"A wonderful rallying call to business leaders all over the world to step up to the greatest opportunity, and responsibility, of our time." -- Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group

"Net Positive will be pure heresy to all those who still subscribe to the failed dogma of shareholder primacy--which is exactly why we need it." -- Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global

"A compelling and inspiring case that businesses can--and should--boost their bottom lines by contributing to their communities and protecting the environment." -- Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States; Nobel Peace Prize winner; Chairman, Generation Investment Management

"Carefully considered and deeply rooted in the real world of management." -- Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

"Don't call it a 'business book.' Net Positive fundamentally rethinks the way human beings--CEOs, politicians, and activists--can together reset our planet's trajectory." -- Paul Hawken, author, Drawdown and Regeneration

"Polman knows that when leading CEOs stand up for a more equitable world, governments are much more likely to do the same." -- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Finance Minister of Nigeria, 2003-2006 and 2011-2015

"Net Positive turns courage and principled action into an electrifying strategy for business success. It's powerful, persuasive, and unlike any other book you've read." -- Ken Frazier, Executive Chairman, Merck

About the Author

In 2009 Paul Polman became the CEO of Unilever, the first from outside the company in its century-plus history. He created a new framework for decision-making in the organisation to focus the business on multiple stakeholders and long-term value creation, committing the company to doubling its sales while keeping its footprint flat, to touching one billion people, and to greatly improving the lives of suppliers around the world. Peers and experts have ranked Unilever as the most sustainable company―above long-standing, privately run leaders like Patagonia and IKEA―for eight years. Today, Polman is cofounder and Chair of IMAGINE, a for-benefit organisation and foundation that mobilises businesses around the UN Global Goals.

Andrew Winston is one of the world's most widely read writers and thinkers on sustainable business. His books on sustainability strategy, including Green to Gold and The Big Pivot, have sold more than 150,000 copies in seven languages. Winston has also written cover stories for Harvard Business Review and published hundreds of articles in HBR, MIT Sloan Management Review, and other outlets. He was recently selected for the Thinkers50 Radar 2020, a list of "30 thinkers to watch out for in the coming year." His views on strategy have been sought after by many of the world's leading companies, including 3M, DuPont, HP, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, PepsiCo, PwC, and Unilever.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvard Business Review Press (5 October 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1647821304
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1647821302
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.88 x 3.18 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 223 ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Sophie
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 October 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 October 2021
READ THIS BOOK!

Read this book if you are interested in how business can play a more positive role in the world or if you want to find ways to make a difference in your work. Read this book if you are interested in business and leadership and how challenging they can be for those who want to shape a different future. It's a cracker.

I ordered this, partly because I thought it looked interesting but mainly out of loyalty to Paul Polman, who is a man who remains a top leadership inspiration to me and so many others.

From reading the pre-blurb, I confess I wondered a little if it might be slightly dry or overtly preachy in style - but when the book arrived, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

The book tackles head-on-the complexity of thought process that so many leaders in business are going through, with stories and frameworks that really help.

I like the focus of its approach:

‘We did not want to debate capitalism here, but instead, in a practical way, to argue for the changing role that business must play to continue to earn its license to operate.’

It’s an eminently practical focus on some HOW ideas for those who already know WHY it’s time for change - and it’s a read which I think will (in the hopes of co-author Andrew Winston) ‘inspire the business community to step up, accelerate and help lead towards a thriving world.’

It’s also full of fascinating stories about the courage and complexity in the fight for Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan - the real challenges faced and what really happened.

It’s always so useful to understand the stories from inside a business and there’s a lot in here to help everyone appreciate that it’s not easy to step up to the responsibility (and the opportunities) business has to move to positive action.

And this book is not only for those who want to understand how business can play a more positive role to help the world more, but a reminder that they need to do that in order to thrive in a changing world:

'A net positive approach not only prepares you to be competitive today, but more important, positions you well to be among the winning companies and industries of the future.'

An interesting read. An inspirational book. A critically important topic. One of the best things I've read all year and probably one of the most important - highly recommended.
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John O'B
5.0 out of 5 stars A carefully thought through call to action for all business leaders
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2022
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Peter Simeonov
5.0 out of 5 stars The most insightful book I have read in a decade!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 January 2022
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Dominic H. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Required business reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2022
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MR A M Routledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership at its finest
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 January 2022
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