CM 175: Roger Martin on the Efficiency Myth
Play • 49 min
What's driven our relentless obsession with economic efficiency and who are its winners and losers?

For much of the twentieth century, the U.S. economy benefited most individuals and families, no matter their social class. In recent decades, that's not been the case.

Roger Martin examines this shift in his latest book, When More is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency. He shares data indicating that, while the wealthy continue to prosper, the average American family does not.

While Roger is concerned with what lies ahead for these families, he is equally concerned about the future of the U.S. economic system. He says, "What set off the project behind this book is that the median family, who is also the swing voter, is going to give up on capitalism as the system it wants to have run this country."

Professor of Strategic Management, Emeritus, at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, Roger previously served as Dean and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute. In addition, he's published eleven books, written numerous articles for Harvard Business Review, and has been named the number one management thinker by Thinkers50.

Based on his extensive research and his work with hundreds of companies, Roger believes organizational leaders can change things for the better. In this interview, he shares examples of how companies, like Southwest Airlines, have done just that.

At the same time, Roger discusses how our longstanding model of the U.S. economy as machine got us here. He points out, "It's kind of an accident. We've done some things based on models we thought were good that have gotten us in places we don't like at all."

Episode Links

Why Information Grows by Cesar Hidalgo

The Persona Project 

Wassily Leontief

Pareto Distribution

David Ricardo and comparative advantage

Cristiano Rinaldo

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