Business as Unusual: The Journey of Anita Roddick and the Body Shop

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9780007122738: Business as Unusual: The Journey of Anita Roddick and the Body Shop

Anita Roddick is one of the world's most outspoken, controversial and successful businesswomen. "Business as Unusual" turns the tables on the way society looks at business and forges a move toward greater corporate responsibility and accountability. The book charts the progress of Anita Roddick and her company, The Body Shop, through the 1990s. She talks openly about the "greed culture" of the 90s, The Body Shop vs. Shell, Trade Not Aid (the pleasures and pitfalls of trading with indigenous communities), taking on the US, creating community both within and outside the workplace, how to campaign for human rights in the business environment and women in business. Ranging from personal issues - such as self-esteem - to wider political issues like the human rights abuses associated with globalization, Roddick offers her own vision for dealing with the demands of ethical business. Roddick believes we should never underestimate the power of the individual to create change.

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Review:

Flaunting a title like Business as Unusual, Anita Roddick's company biography is anything but your run-of-the-mill book on how to create, nurture, and run a successful company. While it does give a firsthand account of the birth of The Body Shop and Roddick's own particular leadership style of creative (and sometimes chaotic) passion, it doubles as a clarion call for business to tackle the big issues of life alongside the pursuit of profits, with heart, soul and conscience.

Roddick grew up in a large Italian immigrant family in small town in blue-collar England, where she was instilled with an intense work ethic and an irreverent, entrepreneurial spirit. Though she admits to having opened her first Body Shop as a way to make ends meet, Roddick developed the company around her zealous belief that, since there is "no more powerful institution in society than business ... it is more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership in society." Her concern for protecting the environment and indigenous people's cultures, and of seeing all of life as interconnected, have directed the growth of the company and inspired much of this book. Her account moves from an initial description of what she sees as the problem with "business as usual," through a history of The Body Shop as illustrating her philosophies on fostering passionate activism, building community, making it as a woman, and succeeding in business. Though Roddick's tone occasionally lapses into what might be interpreted as a rather self-righteous one (particularly in her references to most of the company's competition as merely "imitation"), it is driven by a feisty belief in her ideals. The chapter that describes The Body Shop launch into the U.S. market and its subsequent problems with intense competition is not exactly an American love-fest, but for those readers on this side of the Atlantic who don't take themselves too seriously, it's an informative and often amusing take on the trials of cross-cultural marketing. While praise of The Body Shop's good deeds to date is woven into much of what she discusses, Roddick is not afraid of being honest. Indeed, she presents some of the company's less flattering underbelly, such as a failed experiment in trading directly with an indigenous tribe and the unsuccessful "reorganization" of the company by an unresearched external consultant, which is far more daring than most business leaders are in discussing their corporate offspring. The book would have benefited from a more detailed and less defensive presentation of the media storm that surrounded the company from 1992 to 1994 (which comes dangerously close to being a diatribe), but Roddick's conversational writing style--extremely effective in relaying fervent dedication--doesn't leave room for a lot of legal analysis.

This is an entertaining read with a serious message, a lilting and somewhat whimsical manifesto. Not merely the story of one woman's pursuit of business success and the history and philosophy of The Body Shop, it is an invigorating guidebook for anyone eager to marry an entrepreneurial, principled spirit with a keen sense of social justice. --S. Ketchum

About the Author:

Anita Roddick has many guises; successful business woman, outspoken political activist, worldwide traveller, grandmother - she has created a company with attitude which is known around the world for both its products and its principles.

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Anita Roddick
Published by Thorsons (2002)
ISBN 10: 000712273X ISBN 13: 9780007122738
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Book Description Thorsons, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Business As Unusual: The Journey of Anita Roddick and The Body Shop This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780007122738

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Anita Roddick
Published by Harper Collins Publ. UK Auflage: New Ed (5. November 2001), Berlin (2001)
ISBN 10: 000712273X ISBN 13: 9780007122738
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Book Description Harper Collins Publ. UK Auflage: New Ed (5. November 2001), Berlin, 2001. Softcover. Book Condition: gut. Auflage: New Ed (5. November 2001). Funky Business paved the way; "Traditional roles, jobs, skills, ways of doing things, insights, strategies, aspirations, fears and expectations no longer count. In this environment we cannot have business as usual. We need business as unusual." And here it is, though a guided tour through the past decade at the Body Shop is probably not what the Swedes had in mind. Since its inception in 1976, the Body Shop has pioneered socially responsive business practices and challenged the nature of the cosmetics industry. Success transformed it into a household name and by 1987, Anita Roddick had accepted the Confederation of British Industry's award for Company of the Year. Naturally, that's when things got tricky--in consultant-speak, the Body Shop reached adolescence. Business as Unusual gives the impression that throughout the 90s, just about everything that could go wrong did. Organisationally, the enterprise had spiralled into a complex and inefficient mess--"a lego set from Hell" in Roddick's words--with a bottom line under pressure from competition happy to mimic the packaging and ethos for their own cut-price ethical chic. Most damaging of all was the spate of negative press the Body Shop received during the mid-90s from commentators queuing up to question their values and practices. By the end of the decade, redundancies and change were high on the corporate agenda as the Body Shop restructured (with "kindness") in an attempt to reinvent the brand for the new millennium.It all makes for an engrossing business history, but Business as Unusual is not just about the Body Shop. It also serves as a checklist to the major causes and campaigns of the 90s. Much of it is self-evident--"no company can afford to waste valuable brain power simply because it's wearing a bra;" the planet is precious; greed is bad--and the worthiness does occasionally grate, but elsewhere the Body Shop's activism stands out as a shining example of the good that can be achieved through orchestrated pressure. With her unique brand of pumice-stone politics, Anita Roddick has done the unusual and shown that success does not have to come at the expense of a conscience. Business as Unusual has its faults but it makes a thought-provoking read and shows that Anita Roddick has lost none of her passion for change. Her ethics may stink, but it's of peppermint, tangerine and cocoa butter. Flaunting a title like Business as Unusual, Anita Roddick's company biography is anything but your run-of-the-mill book on how to create, nurture, and run a successful company. While it does give a firsthand account of the birth of The Body Shop and Roddick's own particular leadership style of creative (and sometimes chaotic) passion, it doubles as a clarion call for business to tackle the big issues of life alongside the pursuit of profits, with heart, soul and conscience. Roddick grew up in a large Italian immigrant family in small town in blue-collar England, where she was instilled with an intense work ethic and an irreverent, entrepreneurial spirit. Though she admits to having opened her first Body Shop as a way to make ends meet, Roddick developed the company around her zealous belief that, since there is "no more powerful institution in society than business . it is more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership in society." Her concern for protecting the environment and indigenous people's cultures, and of seeing all of life as interconnected, have directed the growth of the company and inspired much of this book. Her account moves from an initial description of what she sees as the problem with "business as usual," through a history of The Body Shop as illustrating her philosophies on fostering passionate activism, building community, making it as a woman, and succeeding in business. Though Roddick's tone occasionally lapses into what might be interpreted as a rather self-righteous one (particularly in her references to most of the company's competiti. Bookseller Inventory # BN8527

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