Redefining the role of business: A conversation with Harvard Business School’s Geoffrey Jones

What will the future of business be like? One way of finding out is arguably to focus on future challenges in society at large. 

In 2017, Geoffrey Jones, professor in Business History at Harvard Business School, published Profits and Sustainability. In the opening lines, he wrote: “The degradation of the natural environment presents the greatest challenge faced by humanity.”

Here’s why we need to balance management and leadership. And appreciate business history more.

What are the key lessons from business history that will still apply in the future?

My most loyal readers will know that this is the question I’m currently trying to answer, as part of my project to describe the future of business.

Horizontal first, vertical second

What are the key lessons from business history that will remain important in the future? That’s the question I’ve been trying to answer in my recent posts.

My answers have in no small part been informed by a conversation I had with business historian Chris McKenna of Saïd Business School at Oxford University.

Change is not accelerating

How is it possible to say anything meaningful about the future of business? I mean, we’re all witnessing how things are changing so rapidly, right?

It’s exponential change. As described by Moore’s law from 1965. Back then, Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.