Companies that Mimic Life
Leaders of the Emerging Corporate Renaissance

Paper: 978 1 78353 542 2 / $29.95
Published: October 2016  

Cloth: 978 1 78353 543 9 / $99.00
Published: October 2016  

Publisher: Greenleaf
192 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
Industrial capitalism is broken. The signs, which transcend national ideologies, are everywhere: climate change; ecological overshoot; financial exhaustion; fraying social safety nets; corporate fraud; government deceit; civic unrest; terrorism; and war. But there is hope. This book tells how transformation is taking root in the corporate world – the last place many of us would look for solutions.

The book tells the stories of seven exceptional companies. Their shared secret is a new mental model of the firm that is the virtual opposite of industrial capitalism. Each company, if not already a household name, is a significant player within their industry and, crucially, has outperformed their competitors. Lessons can be learned.

It works like this. Instead of modeling themselves on the assumed efficiency of machines – a thought process that emerged during the industrial age – these firms model themselves on living systems. Firms with open, ethical, inclusive traditions – where employees have a voice and a stake in what happens – have a distinct advantage over traditionally managed companies where most decisions are made at the top.

Understanding that everything of value ultimately arises from life, they place a higher value on living assets (people and nature) than they do on non-living capital assets. The energy they invest in stewarding those assets – a practice described in the book as living asset stewardship (LAS) – is transformative.

Table of Contents:

1. Changing Paradigms

2. The Power of Networks

3. Management by Means

4. Conservation of Resources

5. Openness

6. Sense of Purpose

7. Consciousness

8. Towards Industrial Symbiosis

9. The Emerging Corporate Renaissance


Appendix 1. The Global LAMP Index®

Appendix 2. Global LAMP Index® Returns

Appendix 3. Credit Ratings of LAMP Companies

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Jay Bragdon has done a great service with this wonderful book, which turns a well-focused microscope onto some of the world’s most inspiring stories of corporate sustainability transformation."
- Alan AtKisson, CEO, AtKisson Group
"In Companies That Mimic Life, Jay Bragdon looks through 'systems' lenses at models of companies creating shared values for both companies and the society.

While many scholars and practitioners enthusiastically speak about the importance of capacities of organization and people, it is rare to see evidence in a systematic way. With 20 years of the robust study, Jay illustrates how companies that pursue harmony among the society, the nature and people within organization outperform companies narrowly focused on financial results and shareholders’ interests. While many managers are at dilemma of choosing either single (financial) bottom line or triple bottom lines, Jay’s analysis suggests that the triple bottom lines in the long run is far better.

Yet, how do these companies making triple bottom lines operate? His new book look at the seven companies which he has chosen as exemplary, and dig into principles, process and structures of these organizations that often come from systems and integration theories. These practices are truly inspirational, and are something today’s managers could learn from them in how they navigate their organization in this complex and vulnerable world.

As Jay argues, if one ever wants to change today’s troubled capitalism, the vision and practice of Living Asset Steward is a keystone of how companies and capitalism renew themselves."
- Riichiro Oda, CEO, Change Agent Inc. (Japan)