Capitalism appears to be at a pivotal juncture, with traditional profit-driven models increasingly questioned. The focus on shareholder value, which has dominated business thinking for decades, is now seen as a potentially damaging approach. Critics argue that it leads to short-termism, stifles innovation, and harms the environment.

Several influential organisations and individuals are pushing for a more socially responsible form of capitalism. The Drucker Forum, for instance, promotes management as a liberal art, challenging the notion that profit is the sole purpose of business. Similarly, the CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, dismisses quarterly reporting, advocating instead for sustainable, long-term growth.

The shift towards a more holistic view of business success is gaining traction. Companies are beginning to recognise the importance of investing in their employees, communities, and the environment. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that firms focusing on a broader range of stakeholders, rather than solely on shareholders, perform better financially.

Despite these promising signs, significant barriers remain. Many investors still prioritise short-term gains, and current financial reporting practices reinforce this mindset. Furthermore, business schools continue to teach traditional models of capitalism, perpetuating the focus on shareholder value.

In conclusion, while capitalism is undergoing a significant shift, the journey towards a more sustainable and inclusive model is far from complete. The challenge lies in changing deeply entrenched attitudes and practices.

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