As researcher, investment manager and author, Jay has followed the connections between corporate responsibility and profitability for more than 40 years. From his earliest article on the subject, published in 1972 and reprinted on our blog, to his more recent work on the emerging corporate renaissance, he chronicles the best thinking of the world’s most progressive corporate leaders.

Jay’s renaissance thesis is grounded in two parallel observations:

  • The breakdown of the older industrial model of capitalism as its “external” impacts on Nature and society feed back into ecosystem collapse and financial failure; and
  • The global emergence of a new bio-centric model of capitalism in which companies prosper as they seek closer harmony with Nature and society.

The leaders of this new movement believe that life not profit is the center of our economic universe. This Copernican thought changes everything. It rests on the premise that profit can only emerge from life in which case profit must serve life. The core concept is circular, synergistic, inspirational, innovative and highly productive. As the Global LAMP Index® demonstrates, companies that professionally adhere to this model of management continually gain market share at the expense of those adhering to the older industrial model.

Profit for Life: How Capitalism Excels (2006)

This book looks at companies as living entities whose extraordinary energy and value-creating potential arise from living assets (people and Nature). It challenges the traditional model of business as a profit-making machine, which pursues operating leverage via non-living capital assets. Through the use of detailed case studies we see how companies that practice LAS generate profit by inspiring people rather than trying to control them. The Global LAMP Index® “60 corporate pioneers in LAS” is presented as an indicator of the emerging new order. Its stability and profitability are exceptional.

This is a landmark book, one which freshly imagines and reframes the basic purposes of the corporation in accord with our democratic values. It is especially welcome during a period of extreme doubt and cynicism about the morality of unhinged capitalism. “Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management

From Systemic Collapse to Rebirth (2009)

A message of hope amidst the current economic chaos

In this article I show the linkages between today’s financial distress and the over-extension of our ecological footprint. As leadership companies become more aware of these linkages, their behaviors are becoming more inclined towards living asset stewardship. This awareness is the catalyst of an emerging corporate renaissance.

The Value of Relational Equity (2009)

This article describes the centrality of relationships (relational equity) in companies that mimic life. How firms relate to employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders matters more than most people think. As in all living systems, relationships are the means by which we learn, adapt and innovate. Corporate leaders who build relational equity catalyze a powerful reinforcing cycle of profit. The Global LAMP Index® supports this conclusion by returning roughly 140% during a decade (1999 2008) when most comparator indices lost money.

Companies That Mimic Life (2007)

This article, co-authored with Jeanne Veatch-Bragdon, looks at five common attributes of companies that mimic life in the ways they are organized and managed. These qualities are natural expressions of LAS cultures. When combined into an organic whole, they produce extraordinary synergies. We conclude with an independent review of Global LAMP Index® investment results, which finds these are “economically and statistically significant.”

Living Asset Stewardship: How Organizational Learning Leads to Exceptional Market Returns (2002)

This article, co-authored with Richard Karash, explores the connections between organizational learning and profitability in companies that practice LAS. It includes causal loop diagrams that show the feedback effects of LAS practices versus business as usual. The positive feedbacks of LAS are the source of its synergies.

Is Pollution Profitable? Environmental Virtue & Reward: Must Stiffer Pollution Controls Hurt Profits? (1972)