When is More Not Better? How to Nurture Resilience

Growth in the economic prosperity of the average family in America has slowed to a crawl, especially since the deep economic pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. As corporations wake up to the urgent need for change—as evidenced by the Business Roundtable’s updated purpose of the corporation last year—business executives need tools for contributing positively to society rather than operating in a way that delivers value to some but not all.

Join us as Roger Martin shares his thinking and his new book, When More is Not Better. He will discuss how America’s obsessive pursuit of economic efficiency is driving inequality, making our economy more fragile, both socially and environmentally, and damaging American’s faith in capitalism.

He will discuss why we must stop viewing our economy as a machine that can be perfected with increasing levels of efficiency and instead understand it as a natural system—complex, adaptive and systemic. It is more like a rainforest than an oil refinery, he says, and it requires a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience.

Martin will explore specific actions business leaders can take to restore balance, changes to how they run their businesses, all of which have been tried and tested in other contexts.

He will discuss how meaningful change actually happens in the world and provide concrete lessons and a practical model for businesses, policymakers, academics, civil society organizations and individuals who seek to transform our world for good.


Elizabeth Carney


MLF: Business & Leadership

Image - Roger Martin

Roger Martin

Writer; Strategy Advisor; Author, When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency

Image - Elizabeth Carney

In conversation with Elizabeth Carney

Chair Business and Leadership Forum, Commonwealth Club