Robert Kaplan has spent his career bridging the gap between the two worlds, and showing that both kinds of companies can learn from each other to maximize how they serve society.
We live in a world where for-profits and not-for-profits occupy separate spheres, and we often focus more on their differences than on their similarities. What would happen if we stopped focusing on tax status, and took the best practices from each sector and began applying them to the other? Over the past decade, the nonprofit sector has been applying more lessons from the business world, and people in the NGO world are finding that there is value in learning from how the other half works. Rob Kaplan is a leader in this practice. The former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, now a senior associate dean of external relations at Harvard Business School, doubles as an avid philanthropist and professor who teaches how valuable a person's charitable work can be on one's professional and personal life. He believes current and future business leaders don't need to be just the most skilled, but also make the greatest positive impact on the world.