TCR – A Paradigm Shift in Corporate Sustainability

By Frank Dixon
Jul 18, 2017 1:30 PM ET


A paradigm shift is needed in business. Whole system thinking shows that two foundational business ideas are reductionistic, irrational and unintentionally destructive. The first is that it is acceptable for businesses to focus primarily on their own financial well-being without regard for the larger economic, social and environmental systems that enable business existence and success. The second is that it is acceptable for companies to take responsibility only for their own negative impacts, rather than the economic and political systems that largely control corporate behavior and compel them to cause negative impacts.

Whole system, new paradigm thinking shows that it is not rational to consider the well-being of companies apart from the well-being of larger systems that support them, in the same way that it is not logical to consider the well-being of cells apart from the larger body that enables them to exist. In reality, businesses are parts of larger economic, social and environmental systems. The well-being of these systems takes priority because there is no economy, society or even life without them.

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Frank Dixon oversaw the sustainability analysis and rating of the world’s 2,000 largest companies for many years as the Managing Director of Research at Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, formerly the largest corporate sustainability research firm in the world. Institutional investors used Innovest research to develop high-performing socially responsible investing products.

Extensive corporate sustainability experience made it clear that flawed economic and political systems compel all companies to degrade the environment and society. This ultimately degrades business. Sustainability and long-term business success only can be achieved by improving flawed systems.

Frank Dixon developed the TCR® approach to provide a practical and profitable way for companies and investors to engage in system change. Following Innovest, he provided sustainability and system change consulting to companies in the US and Europe. He also spoke at many corporate and financial sector conferences about the importance of shifting the focus of the corporate responsibility and socially responsible investing movements from corporate change to system change. 

Most recently, he wrote the Global System Change series of books. Using a whole system approach, the books fully describe the major economic, political and social system changes needed to achieve sustainability and real prosperity.

Frank Dixon has an MBA from the Harvard Business School.