Better, Not Perfect: A Realist’s Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness

Event Date: Friday September 11, 2020
Time: 12:00-1:00 pm EDT
Location: via Zoom

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present:

Better, Not Perfect: A Realist’s Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness

A virtual PON book talk with:

Max Bazerman

Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Executive Committee Member, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School

Friday, September 11, 2020

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT


About the book:

Every day, we make hundreds of decisions. They’re largely personal, but these choices have an ethical twinge as well; they value certain principles and ends over others. This book explores how we can better make principled choices. Bazerman argues that we can better balance both dimensions—and we needn’t seek perfection to make a real difference for ourselves and the world.

A deeply researched, prescriptive roadmap is presented in a three-part process for how to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. In Part One, Bazerman shares the framework on how to be smarter and more efficient, honest and aware to attain “maximum sustainable goodness.” In Part Two, he identifies four training grounds in which to practice these newfound skills for outsized impact: how we think about equality and our tribe(s); waste—from garbage to corporate excess; the way we spend time; and our approach to giving—whether our attention or our money. Part Three trains our eye on how to extend what we’ve learned and positively influence others.

Melding philosophy and psychology as never before, this down-to-earth guide will help clarify goals, assist in doing more good with limited time on the planet, and see greater satisfaction in the process.

Books may be purchased here:


About the speaker:

Max H. Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.  His recent books include Better, Not Perfect (forthcoming), The Power of Experiments (with Michael Luca), The Power of Noticing, Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (with Don Moore), and Blind Spots (with Ann Tenbrunsel).

Bazerman received an honorary doctorate from the University of London, the Life Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, the Distinguished Educator Award from the Academy of Management, the Academy of Management Career Award for Scholarly Contributions to Management, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management.  In addition, Bazerman was named as Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics and as one of Daily Kos’ Heroes for going public about how the Bush Administration corrupted the RICO Tobacco trial.

His professional activities include projects with Abbott, Aetna, AIG, Alcar, Alcoa, Allstate, Ameritech, Amgen, Apax Partners, Asian Development Bank, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Aventis, BASF, Bayer, Becton Dickenson, Biogen, Boston Scientific, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Business Week, Celtic Insurance, Chevron, Chicago Tribune, City of Chicago, and additional companies that start with letters between D and Z.  Bazerman’s consulting, teaching, and lecturing includes work in 30 countries.


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