Marblehead Letter


In 2001, the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) and leaders from some of the worlds largest corporations recognized that a natural agenda of issues shaping the future of organizations is emerging in our global network. They believe these issues will be especially important for corporations with global scope. We wanted to share them with you as we, too, feel it’s important for people to consider the issues below, and how, through our global organizations, we are going to build a shared understanding and coordinated action that the world desperately needs.

These issues include:

The social divide: the ever-widening gap between those participating in the increasingly interdependent global economy and those not.

For how long can 15% of the people get 85% of the goodies?

Redefining growth: economic growth based on ever increasing material use and discard is inconsistent with a finite world

How long can we keep piling up more junk in the same box?

Variety and inclusiveness: developing inclusion as a core competence in increasingly multi-cultural organizations.

Who is “the we?”

Attracting talented people and realizing their potential: developing commitment in a world of “free agents” and “volunteer” talent.

What are we committed to, really?

The role of the corporation: extending the traditional role of the corporation, especially the global corporation, to be more commensurate with its impact.

Just how accountable will society expect us to be?

The system seeing itself: the challenges of coordination and coherence in social systems.

How can we stop going faster while dimming the headlights?


June, 2001

Group VP, BP 
Office of the CEO, Hewlett-Packard

VP, Networking and Communications Group, Intel

Human Resources Director, Shell International

Global Director of Environmental Affairs, Visteon



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