By Phil Klutts
July 11, 2023

The evolving business world

Ready to navigate the ever-changing business landscape? Alan Murray offers a glimpse into the future in his book, Tomorrow’s Capitalist.

Tomorrow’s Capitalist

By Alan Murray

The business world is changing. In reality, the landscape in which we operate is always changing. Right now, however, seems to be an inflection point with massive changes in both the macro and micro scales of business. Murray writes that we could be looking at the “first major change in corporate ideology since at least the 1970s.”

Alan Murray analyzes, theorizes, and shares many good stories about these changes in his new book titled “Tomorrow’s Capitalist.” The book was published in 2022 by Fortune Media with the subtitle “My Search for the Soul of Business.”

Murray is the CEO of Fortune Media and held many previous roles including at the Wall Street Journal and Pew Research Center. His career has kept him close to the CEOs and other powerful men and women in the business world. This book is a manifest including his observations from the past, current events, and predictions for the future.

The book is separated into three parts:

  1. Raising the Stakes
  2. What Do Stakeholders Want
  3. The Soul of a Corporation

Part One covers some history, starting with the overall purpose of a capitalist business: Profit. This came from the famous economist Milton Friedman’s position and can be said to be the reason why capitalism has created such success and prosperity in the world. Murray’s point is that for nearly half a century, businesses have been rightfully absent from addressing social problems. But he has seen this shifting over the past decade and increasingly so in the past few years. Part One continues to cover the COVID-19 crisis, social unrest, and the redemption of some businesses through the past three years of upheaval.

Part Two examines more depth to the rise of the stakeholder instead of just the shareholder. Companies have begun to realize that profit (in the short-run) for shareholders can be detrimental to the community, environment, and employees. Society, and thus businesses, are more connected than ever. This leads to quicker and deeper engagements as well as both good and bad consequences. Businesses are thinking and acting on more than just the quarterly bottom line.

Finally, Part Three examines the “activist CEO” and how businesses can be accountable in more areas than just profit. Murray shares the “Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics” from the International Business Council, a group of over 120 global CEOs. These metrics point to what the capitalist of tomorrow will be focused on:

Pillar 1: Principles of Governance. This is the basic organization of people and operations of the business.

Pillar 2: Planet. Environmental impacts are and will continue to be important.

Pillar 3: People. Stakeholders come in many forms, including owners,  employees, community, and more.

Pillar 4: Prosperity. Prosperity isn’t just about profit. It is about raising the economic and social well-being of all human beings.

“Tomorrow’s Capitalist” tells great stories from businesses and names you will recognize. You can get a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what decisions are being made and why they are making them. Murray’s education as an economist and journalist provides insights that might be missed by someone else. 

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.