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Romer: Business Must Embrace a Leadership Role

Last week, we explored the need for business to take a leadership role in (re)building trust among the public in an increasingly divided and polarized world. Business is the only entity in the Edelman Trust Barometer study that is trusted to do so, creating not just an opportunity but a need. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed business is the only institution viewed as ethical and competent.

Business now holds a staggering 53-point lead over government incompetence and is 30 points ahead on ethics. Business has an opportunity to emerge as an ethical force for good in a polarized world. But what is the roadmap for business?

First, business must continue to lead. As the most trusted institution, business has greater expectations and responsibility to take a leadership role. Businesses can leverage this advantage to inform debate and help deliver solutions. We see this locally with businesses taking the lead on skills training, local youth apprenticeships, and engagement with local nonprofit groups such as Vail Health Behavioral Health, Walking Mountains Climate Action Collaborative, and numerous other environmental and social solutions to community challenges.

Supporting and working with nonprofits is not enough; the business community must also collaborate with our local governments. The best results come when business and government work together, not independently. Business leaders must build consensus and collaborate on policies and standards that deliver results toward a thriving society.

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