The Good Organisation inquiry is a pro bono initiative of “engaged scholarship”, in partnership with the University of St. Gallen (a Top 5 European Business School). The aim is to inspire the ethical transformation of organisations, by revising and reforming standards and best practices for responsible business governance and management, as well as leadership education.
The project has four focus areas: a) Foundational research in organizational science and ethics; b) Certification and development of best practices for good organisations; c) Professional qualification and education for wisdom-centric leadership; d) Regulation and policy development for a good economy.
We believe today's world is complex and defies simple answers. Unsurprisingly, recipes for Organisations pursue idiosyncratic aims and must survive in the market. Yet, together, they can also become inspirational and responsible agents of a sustainable and shared prosperity for all. This requires us to move beyond organisational agility, striving for true excellence.
Such “organisational goodness" can be operationalised on three levels, by: (a) the organisation as a virtuous actor in society and ecosystem; (b) the organisation as a container for collective flourishing through community enablement and virtuous practices; (c) the organisation as a trustee for authentic and creative self-expression, personal (moral) development and individual thriving.
Our exploration is focused on bridging philosophy, psychology, economics, political and management science to understand how to craft good organisations that enable a "good society". But what exactly is a “good" organisation? What does it mean to be good, and why? How can we measure goodness? Further, how do organisations become good? What are the most important levers, practices and initiatives to enable collective flourishing? What are those “bad” organisational practices we should abolish right away? Also, what is stopping our organisations to become good in our current economic system? What does all of it mean for leadership? And finally, if we have any answers, how could we stimulate a wider movement for better business?
We believe most transformation in business require courageous leaders to instigate and sponsor change. Hence, we want to engage with and offer our insights to organisational leaders who are willing to experiment and grow themselves and their teams. Our website is intended to be a learning hub that nurtures and co-evolves a shared narrative, offers best practices and supports the development of a virtuous community of leadership professionals.
Latest Essays and social media posts
Good Business Rankings: Little Fire, Lots of Smoke!
Rankings, awards, certificates - there are numerous employer labels that distinguish companies as good employers. But much of it is "good washing", as an analysis by the Research Institute for Work and Working Environments at the University of St. Gallen shows.
A QUEST FOR CORPORATE EXCELLENCE
Is “Business Ethics” an oxymoron? No. Commercial performance and ethics are by no means incommensurable —but they ask fundamentally different questions.
STOP THE SUFFERING: GOOD ORGANIZATIONS WANTED!
After 50 years of “new work” and countless restructurings, agile transformations and yoga classes, we appear to be stuck in a hellish swamp of good intentions: better work remains squarely out of sight…
100 YEARS OF MESSY LEADERSHIP THEORIES
Chances are that someone has gifted you one of those multi-coloured, slogan-rich “airport” management books that often come with “washing lists” of highly critical characteristics of successful leaders....
PSYCHO-WASHING: WHEN COACHING IS NOT AN ANSWER
In spite of millions of hours spent on corporate coaching in the last few decades it appears that neither the world has become much wiser, nor that our societies or organisations are flourishing more.
ARE YOU A GOOD LEADER? REALLY?!
Leaders for Humanity Series
"Leading for good"
We believe today's world is complex and defies simple answers. Yet, rather than increasing our collective capacity for wisdom and critical thinking it seems we have gradually diminished it. Rather than asking deeper questions, we reify efficiency and financial returns. Rather than integrating our learning, we have increasingly siloed knowledge – between academia and practice, scientific disciplines, philosophy and business. Rather than deepening our understanding of the humanities, we have almost exclusively put our trust in technology.
Unsurprisingly, then, recipes for societal and organisational transformation are often fragmented, unethical, or not based on best evidence. At the same time, our challenges are rapidly growing and we need to support the lifelong development of leaders with credible practices to reform organisations and develop appropriate institutions for wider societal change.
In our interview series “Leaders for Humanity” we ask global thought leaders three simple questions: a) What is Good?, b) What is a Good Organisation?, c) How can we become Good, individually and collectively? Our hope is that, over time, these dialogues will help to shape and guide our evolving narrative.
For each interview you will find pre-readings and transcripts, pointers to further work, and our notes. Hopefully you will enjoy the sessions as much as we do!
Insights for Students of Leadership
THe Good leadership society top 100 best books
Based on a panel of experts, and feedback from the community, we regularly select the 100 most compelling leadership books. Our intention is to provide a list of inspirational readings that can deepen a critical understanding of leadership related topics, in five categories
- Moral philosophy and business ethics
- Good Economy
- Development of Good Organisations
- Good Leadership Development
- Business Transformation
Recent Updates On Our Good Organisations Inquiry & Theory
PhD Research Projects
Our Research Projects
Good Organisation index
We are developing an index to support the measurement, comparison, development and certification of good organisations. We are inspired by initiatives like ECG and bCorp. You can read more about some comparisons of existing rankings in our blog (Economy section).
Contact: Silvio Christoffel
Virtuous and wise leadership
We are actively researching about ethical and responsible leadership development. A lot has been written about ethical leadership, but mostly the concept remains people-centric and ignores the necessity to interact with a wider social and institutional system, and to develop leadership as a systemic capacity.
Contact: Sara Fontanet
Good Organisation manifesto
More to come soon
good organisation toolkit and coaching
More to come soon
A Truly Trans-disciplinary Approach
Conferences, Interviews and Podcasts
“The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil;
but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein