A reading club with a view to the future

454 Hubert Joly, Caroline Lambert: The Heart of Business

“The Heart of Business” explores the role of purpose, leadership, and human-centered approaches in building successful and meaningful organizations.



 In "The Heart of Business," Hubert Joly, former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy, shares his insights and experiences on how to create a thriving business that puts people at its core. Joly emphasizes the importance of purpose-driven leadership and a human-centered approach, focusing on employee engagement, customer experience, and fostering a positive impact on society. The book provides practical strategies and real-life examples to guide leaders in building organizations that prioritize empathy, innovation, and resilience. Joly's belief in the transformative power of business as a force for good shines through, offering a roadmap for creating meaningful and sustainable success in a rapidly changing world.


  1. Title: The Heart of Business 
  2. Authors: Hubert Joly, Caroline Lambert 
  3. Publishing Year: 2021 
  4. Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press 
  5. Length: 7 hours and 16 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Purpose-Driven Leadership: Joly emphasizes the importance of leaders articulating and living by a clear purpose that inspires and aligns the entire organization.
  2. Human-Centered Culture: The book explores the significance of creating a culture that values and empowers employees, fostering trust, collaboration, and a sense of belonging.
  3. Customer Obsession: Joly advocates for a customer-centric approach, focusing on understanding and meeting customer needs, providing exceptional experiences, and building long-lasting relationships.
  4. Innovation and Adaptability: "The Heart of Business" highlights the need for organizations to embrace innovation, foster creativity, and adapt to changing market dynamics to stay relevant and competitive.
  5. Positive Impact: Joly encourages businesses to take a broader view of their role in society, actively pursuing initiatives that have a positive social, environmental, and economic impact.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Building a heart-centered business is like planting a garden: it requires nurturing, patience, and a sprinkle of magic."
  2. "When work feels like a family reunion, complete with laughter and shared meals, you know you're in the heart of business."
  3. "Sometimes the best ideas emerge during a brainstorming session fueled by coffee and an impromptu dance party."
  4. "A heart-centered workplace is a little bit like a circus, with a tightrope of trust, acrobatics of collaboration, and a lion's roar of enthusiasm."
  5. "Embracing the heart of business means occasionally swapping the boardroom for a picnic in the park."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Profitability and humanity are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they can be powerful allies."
  2. "A successful business is not just about the bottom line; it's about uplifting people and creating a better world."
  3. "The heart of business beats with purpose, empathy, and a commitment to making a difference."
  4. "In the age of disruption, organizations must transform from transactional to relational, from profit-focused to purpose-driven."
  5. "Great leaders don't just manage businesses; they inspire people to bring their best selves to work and create extraordinary outcomes."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing short-term financial performance with long-term investments in purpose and culture.
  2. Navigating the tension between shareholder expectations and the broader interests of employees, customers, and society.
  3. Deciding how to integrate purpose and values into the fabric of the organization and ensure they are authentically lived throughout all levels.
  4. Addressing the challenges of scaling a heart-centered business while maintaining its core values and unique culture.
  5. Managing the complexities of cultural transformation in legacy organizations, overcoming resistance and fostering buy-in from stakeholders.

5 examples

  1. Best Buy - a multinational consumer electronics retailer where Hubert Joly served as Chairman and CEO, known for its successful turnaround and human-centered approach.
  2. Patagonia - an outdoor apparel company recognized for its commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
  3. REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) - a retail cooperative specializing in outdoor gear and clothing, known for its employee empowerment and customer-centric approach.
  4. Warby Parker - an eyewear company that combines fashionable products with a socially conscious business model, providing glasses to those in need.
  5. Seventh Generation - a household and personal care products company committed to sustainability, transparency, and promoting a healthy, equitable world.

Referenced books

  1. "Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business" by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
  2. "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't" by Simon Sinek
  3. "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek
  4. "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose" by Tony Hsieh
  5. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries

Share a quote

"A heart-centered workplace is a little bit like a circus, with a tightrope of trust, acrobatics of collaboration, and a lion's roar of enthusiasm."

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