Our traditional ways of looking at economics, business and politics are not fit for purpose. The causes of the recent crisis were behavioural and international, but our measures are superficial and financial, recorded at a national or company level. This is combined with a fervent quest for endless ’growth’, no matter how unsustainable. Theory has to catch up with reality. Many books chart different courses for economic and business management but New Normal, Radical Shift is different. Using examples from international organizations around the world, it analyses not only the business model that failed, but challenges wider economic and political beliefs that employees’ interests always conflict with those of managers and business owners. Neela Bettridge and Philip Whiteley argue that the right messages about good practice in business struggle to be heard, not because of indifference or inertia, but because dysfunctional philosophies are still supported not only within business and business schools, but also within political circles and by trade unions, NGOs and others campaigning for workers’ rights. The central belief of the ’old normal’ is that profits are made by exploiting workers and the environment. In this book the authors’ arguments - all supported by exemplary case studies -demonstrate that this belief is false, opening up enormous possibilities in a ’new normal’ of enhanced working lives, environmental protection and business success.
’It would be easy to conclude that today’s economic problems - inequality or the financial or environmental crisis - are too complex and intractable for any individual to tackle. Neela Bettridge and Philip Whiteley will convince you that everyone involved in corporate leadership must and can take personal responsibility. This book will set business leaders on the path toward addressing these profoundly important questions.’ Diane Coyle, Director, Enlightenment Economics, and author of The Economics of Enough ’Bettridge and Whiteley present a compelling indictment of conventional measures used to gauge leadership performance in public and private enterprises. Stressing the illogical emphases on measures such as growth in GDP or quarterly earnings as consistent with long-term sustainability they bring substance to the much-ballyhooed catchphrase of sustainability that is more often than not part of the feel-good lexicon of corporate and governmental leaders. George Bernard Shaw aptly described the thesis of New Normal: Radical Shift when he wrote that all progress depends upon the unreasonable man. Bettridge and Whiteley dare to be unreasonable in offering a prescription for avoiding the recurring lessons of accounting scandals and asset bubbles of the 21st century by adoption of leadership assessments more in sync with today’s dynamic global economic and political climate.’ Jim Neal, contributing writer, Newsweek, founder of The Agema Group and candidate for US Senate 2008 ’Whiteley and Bettridge have written a challenging but highly readable book. Thankfully, they go way beyond a ritualistic denunciation of "business as usual" to offer some practical ideas about how business can change for the better. There is no doubting the urgency of the argument they make. Come with an open mind and be prepared to have your assumptions tested.’ Stefan Stern, director of strategy at Edelman and Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, UK and formerly FT man