The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today's Profits With Tomorrow's Bottom Line

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The world’s most forward-looking CEOs recognize the realchallenge facing business today: a fundamental shift in the natureof commerce. While sustainability programs, government action, andnonprofits are all parts of the solution, CEOs and other leadersmust focus on social, environmental, and economic benefit—notonly because it will make the world a better place, but because itwill ensure lasting profitability and success in the businessclimate of tomorrow.

The Breakthrough Challenge is both an inspiringcall-to-action and a guide for this transformation, based on thework of The B Team, a major initiative uniting leaders insustainability. As a founding advisor and member of The B Team,John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz map out an agenda for change. Themost important goal for businesses must be redefining the bottomline to account for true long-term costs throughout the supplychain. To achieve this, leaders must rethink everything: whatcounts on balance sheets, how to incentivize performance, who doeswhat in the C-suite, and even what inspires us. The BreakthroughChallenge draws on over 100 exclusive interviews to show thisshift in action, sharing the pioneering work of leaders such asPaul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Arianna Huffington, founder and CEOof The Huffington Post; Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman ofthe Nestlé Group; and Linda Fisher, pioneering ChiefSustainability Officer at DuPont, among many others.

Change-as-usual strategies are not enough to move business frombreakdowns to breakthroughs. The Breakthrough Challengeshows leaders how to achieve a true transformation and refocus thedefinition of profitability on the lasting wellbeing of people andplanet—for the lasting success of their business.

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About the author

John Elkington has worked for forty years in the environmental, sustainability, and social innovation fields. He has cofounded four companies, sits on more than twenty boards or advisory boards, and is a founding advisor of The B Team advisory board. He is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including The Power of Unreasonable People. He has received awards from the UN, the Skoll Foundation, Fast Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, and others. John lives in London.

Jochen Zeitz is cofounder and cochairman of The B Team. He is a director at Kering (formerly PPR) and chairman of the board's sustainable development committee, after having been CEO of the Sport & Lifestyle division and chief sustainability officer (CSO). Previously, he served eighteen years as chairman and CEO of Puma. He was the youngest CEO in German history to head a public company. He is a board member of Harley-Davidson and Wilderness Safaris and is coauthor of The Manager and the Monk (Jossey-Bass, 2012), which has appeared in fifteen languages. Among other awards, he was named the Financial Times Strategist of the Year three years in a row. Jochen lives in Switzerland and Kenya.

For more information, please visit and follow the authors on Twitter via @VolansJohn and @JochenZeitz.

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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jul 22, 2014
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Business & Economics / General
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