The @McKinsey article brilliantly shows why businesspeople are so glaringly unfit to shape public life: the business mind is trained in the micro, trained to see the marginal effect of things. It struggles to grasp ideas like enabling, legitimizing, complicity, or to see systems.
It also illustrates how the business worldview is guided by Pangloss positivity. If we advise the Saudis, they will modernize. If we show Yanukovych better policies, he will become a reformer. There is so little grasp of human darkness, of the possibility of unintended outcomes.
This is not a story about bad people. It’s a story about people who are spectacularly unqualified to think about problems bigger than what an individual corporation should do.
The first time I read a Harvard Business School case study, so much clicked about why things are as they are. Huge, complicated societal dilemmas are invariably framed as: What should the CEO do? That’s the entire lens. The CEO’s-eye view is simply not the societal view.
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