The insurer’s CEO is working to show that corporations can and should play a positive role in solving society’s struggles.
Allstate Insurance Corporation Chairman and CEO Tom Wilson chose the Washington Post as a vehicle to express his message to American corporations. He pointed out that the role of these exceptionally large businesses must change. According to Wilson, corporations should be a powerful force of positive change in society.
He wrote that a complete mind-set shift will be required and that these companies can do good.
“Corporations should be encouraged and rewarded for stepping up to solve society’s problems,” wrote the CEO of the Allstate Insurance Corporation. He added that this will require the companies to change their way of thinking. “Today, corporate leaders are graded on stock price, not on the amount of good their companies do. We must broaden our evaluation of corporations beyond share prices to provide space, light and water for their role to grow.”
He also pointed to the power of the shareholders. Wilson explained that they have the power to start posing questions. More specifically, they should be asking about the way in which “intangible assets” are being built by corporations. Among those intangible assets include their reputations, employee bases and the relationships formed with customers. Their focus should not be exclusively in “pushing for share buybacks.”
This suggests an interest in taking the Allstate Insurance Corporation in a more socially responsible direction.
According to Wilson, the “22nd Century Corporations,” that is, the large businesses of the future, will have a new responsibility. This will be to boost their efforts in providing solutions for society’s problems.
At the same time, he gave examples of the ways in which this type of behavior is good for business. He illustrated the ways in which businesses that assist their communities build strong reputations among their customers. This gives a powerful foundation for growth and effectively allows them to draw, train, motivate and retain the best workforce. When a community is more prosperous and a workforce is better educated, customers will also bring in a more positive business ecosystem.
This was Wilson’s latest piece in the newspaper. The Allstate Insurance Corporation CEO regularly publishes articles about many topics in national media outlets including the Washington Post, but also the New York Times, CNN.com and, more recently, the Huffington Post.