Directors Should Embrace “Inclusive Capitalism”

imagesCAJUEMF1James D. Robinson II, the former chairman and CEO of American Express urged directors to embrace the important role they play in restoring public trust in capitalism.

With more than half the U.S. population believing that our current economic system is unfair,  capitalism, the great engine of prosperity and personal growth, needs a reboot. Corporate directors have a great opportunity to help, Robinson told the NACD Directorship 100 Forum.

Acknowledging that the economic and employment landscape has been completely altered by globalization and technology, hope for a better future for all Americans must be restored.

“As directors, we have a role to play in building companies but also rebuilding the public’s trust in the best system of the world.”  He calls it inclusive capitalism.  Businesses need to help today’s workers acquire the knowledge and skill to get the jobs that are available,  adopt an “easy button” philosophy to make life less cumbersome for their suppliers.  Most important, “boards and management and shareholders must balance short-term and long-term priorities, which are essential to restoring trust.”

“The issue of good governance goes beyond the corporate world, and includes the White House, state and local officials.”  He urges directors to make their voices heard.