From his humble beginnings selling soap in a sales training programme to his rapid rise in the fast-paced New York advertising scene, Bill Novelli was well on his way to becoming a leader in the hypercompetitive business world. But it wasn’t long before he became disillusioned with the drive for profits at any cost. He knew that his marketing skills made those companies successful, but what good did that success do for the world? That question sent him on a career path that involved taking the marketing and communication tactics long used by big businesses and applying them to social change. He found that this strategy was not only good for the world but also good for business.
In Good Business, Novelli begins with his early career success in Mad Men–era marketing, which left him feeling unfulfilled. He describes the process of changing career trajectory: how he helped reposition the Peace Corps; built Porter Novelli, a global PR agency for social impact; fought the Tobacco Wars; and became CEO of AARP, the largest non-profit in America. Drawing practical lessons and principles from play-by-play stories of his experiences in large and small organizations, Novelli deploys his characteristic wit to stress the importance of building and maintaining connections with people, and engaging them in the cause.
Good Business, which is part behind-the-scenes look at crafting social and health policy, part inspirational guide, proves that you can do well (creating economic and financial success for yourself and your company or organization) by doing good (helping to solve the world’s and society’s major problems). Throughout the book, Novelli shows that you can make a positive social difference regardless of what business you are in or where you are in your career. Readers will come away with the message that anyone who wants to have a positive impact on the world can do it right now from where they are—or can be inspired by Novelli’s story to make the leap to somewhere they can.
Bill Novelli is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he started and oversees the Business for Impact center, and is the cofounder of Porter Novelli, one of the first social marketing companies, and now a global PR agency.
Hardback, 392 pages, 9781421440422, £20.50