McKinsey Global Institute

Forward Thinking on globalization and the evolving role of corporate leadership in the 21st century with Matthew Slaughter

A leading economist and business school dean reflects on globalization, concluding that “we’ve learned people want to know policies will matter for them”, and that “a lot of us underestimated the possible magnitude of distribution pressures from freer trade and immigration and flows of capital.”

In this episode of the McKinsey Global Institute’s Forward Thinking podcast, co-host Michael Chui talks with Matthew J. Slaughter, Paul Danos Dean and Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Slaughter takes the temperature of globalization, discussing ways of tackling distributional challenges and ensuring it works for ordinary families. He also reflects on the evolving demands on leaders of corporations in the 21st century, positing that those who recognize their wider purpose in society tend to outperform on productivity growth and profits. He answers questions including the following:

  • At a time of great challenge in terms of globalization, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what have we learned?
  • What can be done to achieve the benefits of globalization while making sure distributional challenges are addressed?
  • How have the demands placed on leaders in the 21st century changed?
  • In late 2021, there is a lot of discussion about supply chain issues. What is going on here and what is going to happen?

An edited transcript of this episode follows. Subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast transcript

Michael Chui (co-host): Janet, what did you study in university?

Forward Thinking on globalization and the evolving role of corporate leadership in the 21st century with Matthew Slaughter

Janet Bush (co-host): I studied English language and literature. Being at Oxford, I read a lot in the original Anglo Saxon, I’ll have you know. What about you, Michael?

Michael Chui: First of all, I didn’t know until recently that there was an Anglo Saxon language. I studied a weird interdisciplinary mix of computer science, psychology, philosophy, and linguistics.

Janet Bush: And yet we are both at MGI. I went on to a career writing about economics rather than medieval lords and ladies. It reminds me of a previous episode in which we talked about what people do during their careers, and that it isn’t always directly related to what they studied at university.

Michael Chui: That’s true, but hopefully our studies still inform everything else that we do. And it seems to have been true of today’s guest. He’s an MIT-trained economist, and while our conversation covers topics like the effects of globalization on labor markets, human capital, and the role of multinational corporations, he kept coming back to concepts like justice, the philosopher John Rawls, the work of child psychologists, and the nature of leadership—the kinds of topics he studied as an undergraduate. And overall, it’s a great reminder that the real economy is not only about dollars, euros, pounds, fiscal transfers, and global trade flows; it’s fundamentally about people.

Janet Bush: Quite right. I am looking forward to the conversation. Over to you, Michael.

Michael Chui: Matt, welcome to the podcast.

Matthew Slaughter: Michael, thank you, good to be here. Good to see you.

Michael Chui: Let’s just start with a bit of your background. Where’d you grow up? And how did you end up doing what you’re doing today?

Matthew Slaughter: I grew up in Minnesota, a little town west of the Twin Cities called Minnetonka. And issues of the global economy and global public policy actually were close to home in a couple ways. My dad was a sales executive for a metals wholesaler and distributor.

One of the world’s largest privately held conglomerates, Cargill, is headquartered in Minnetonka, just a few minutes from where I grew up. Tonka trucks—those who have children and little ones at home often know Tonka trucks for girls and boys to play with. They were invented in Minnetonka, in a precursor to how the global economy evolved. Originally, all the production and things were in Minnesota. But over time, as global supply chains emerged and expanded, the production of Tonka trucks moved, I think, predominantly south of the US border to Mexico.

And Minnetonka Moccasins and Rollerblades were invented there too. Just in the environment, I had buddies and friends whose parents were involved in these organizations, and at home, and in the community, Minnetonka’s a very globally connected community.

Michael Chui: Then how did you get from Minnetonka to become the dean of the Tuck School of Business?

Matthew Slaughter: From Minnetonka, when I went to college, I went to Notre Dame as an undergraduate, and I ended up majoring in a program called philosophy, politics, and economics. That was a Great Books program where we spent a lot of time reading about the classic treatises in the Western canon. Philosophy, and politics, and issues of the nation-state and justice and distributive justice were central in those.

Within that, I chose economics as a major because I came to realize that a lot of the issues of the health and well-being of a body politic has a lot to do with economic well-being. So graduate school in economics seemed like a natural next step, and then luckily I went off to MIT to earn my PhD.

I came to Dartmouth because I’m a trailing spouse. My wife, Lindsey, was in the same program as I, and she was a little ahead of me, and she was hired in the economics department at Dartmouth to be a professor. And then—dumb luck—after we got engaged, I got a job at Dartmouth. And then tempus fugit, and then here we are, and I’m dean, and golly, that was 27 years ago, I guess.

Michael Chui: A large body of work on globalization and aspects of our MGI research, whether it’s global flows or thinking about effects on labor markets, are something that we’ve also looked at. But it’s also a time of great change, a time of great challenge in terms of globalization. Given your expertise and long history on this topic, can you just describe, in broad terms, what has worked? What hasn’t worked? What have we learned?

Matthew Slaughter: Oof. Great question. I think one of the biggest things we’ve learned is, in some scholarly and, more important, life sense, it’s not adequate to say, “We know that, although there are aggregate gains for the world, for nations on average, there are distributive justice challenges with not every worker, farmer, and community benefiting, and an appropriately designed transfer system in a fiscal policy will address that.”

A lot of the work was more, “What are the aggregate benefits? How do you characterize the nature of those flows?” And it was almost an afterthought to think about, well, there might be—I don’t like this lexicon, but winners and losers—from opening a nation-state to the rest of the world for global commerce.

I think that’s been one of the biggest lessons. And the other thing has become very clear from some of my work, but a lot of great work by other people is that individuals in the United States and around the world, they’re very sophisticated pocketbook voters.

I think if you really want to understand the salience of global price volatility, or the relative wage impacts that are taught in some of the classic graduate school training that a lot of us had, boy, go walk the shop floor of a manufacturing plant somewhere in the United States. Or sit around in a focus group and talk to voters in a community like Detroit, or others that have been really challenged by the global economy.

Those are two big lessons, one for those who come from a more scholarly realm, and just how we think about policy making and listening to our fellow citizens in terms of how we want to think about making a more just global economic system.

Michael Chui: What have we learned about trying to create a more just global economic system? You mentioned people are sophisticated pocketbook voters. What do we know?

Matthew Slaughter: I think we’ve learned people want to know policies will matter for them, meaning them as workers, their families, and their communities. That’s one thing we’ve learned. And I think the second is, collectively, a lot of us underestimated the possible magnitude of distribution pressures from freer trade and immigration and flows of capital.

If I go back to when I didn’t have any gray hair and I was graduating and finishing at MIT and coming to Dartmouth, a lot of the research on globalization and labor markets was focused on the NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the accession of Mexico into the Canada–US free trade agreement that caused so much political activity in the 1992 presidential election.

Ross Perot running for president, getting 19.2 percent of the popular vote in no small part because of proclaiming that there was going to be this “giant sucking sound” if we signed the NAFTA, of losing manufacturing capital and jobs from the United States down to Mexico.

Well, no disrespect against the good people of Mexico, but the Mexico economy and labor force is a rounding error when you’re trying to measure the labor force of China or China plus India, or what has happened in the subsequent 30, 40 years from the NAFTA in terms of the magnitude of shocks to the global economy from after the fall of the Berlin Wall, billions of people around the world wanting to accede into the global economic system, and the flows of capital and people and ideas around that.

I think that’s been a big lesson, and I don’t think we’ve quite figured it out in this country. I’ve written a lot in my scholarly hat with co-authors about what I think we should do, and frankly, a lot of it, MGI is helping advance the understanding of the interplay between companies and communities, and workers.

Michael Chui: I want to pull on that thread too, but I am curious, given all the work that you’re doing—what are the things that can be done in order to achieve the benefits of globalization and yet, as you said, make sure that the distributional challenges are addressed?

Matthew Slaughter: One of the big things that a lot of work has shown is, we used to think just about, or mainly about, I’ll call it fiscal transfers post-market. So thinking about taxes and transfers to build and expand what we oftentimes refer to as the social safety net.

Those policies matter, and yet I think some of the more recent work shows, by me and others, [that] people care a lot about their ability to contribute in a meaningful way to the economic system before taxes and transfers.

One of the things that globalization makes very vivid is, even if we were to imagine a closed economy, or the world overall as a closed economy, what really determines your sense of economic opportunity and well-being is your human capital, and then social capital, and institutional capital that you interact with, either in companies or the infrastructure sides of a nation-state.

I think we realize if you really want to address the anxieties that have emerged in the United States and many other sovereign nations, they’re oftentimes not just about the individuals themselves and their current status in the labor market. It’s about their future, it’s about their children, it’s about their communities.

And that’s much more about, are we building an adequate amount of human capital to build the opportunity? That, I think, is a word that we need to focus a lot more on—economic opportunity and, in some sense, without sounding maudlin, economic hope that delivers the jobs, and incomes, and wealth that I think a lot of our earlier focus as a society and scholars were on.

Some of the work I’ve done, for example, with an old college roommate, Ken Scheve, who’s a political scientist at Yale now. We’ve done a lot of work showing, in some of our recent work, when you survey people, they care a lot more about—the metaphor used was about building ladders of opportunity.

They value that more than stronger social safety nets. They don’t think the ladders are irrelevant, but what they are really seeking for themselves and their communities and their families is human capital development. They think they can thrive in globally connected companies, or through the supply chains, and so forth.

Michael Chui: So if someone is made unemployed because of globalization and some sort of competition, how do we support their livelihoods and their families? Say more about what it means to create ladders of opportunities. What are the sorts of things that fit in that category?

Matthew Slaughter: This is one where I think there’s an ample amount of empirical research that shows at what levels of human development that you get really high social returns from certain types of human capital development. If I use the metaphor again of the ladder of opportunity, a first important rung would be very early childhood human capital development.

There’s a lot of research from Nobel laureates like James Heckman, and sociologists and pediatricians and child psychologists, that shows there’s an amazing amount of human capital development that happens before the age of approximately five or six. So what Ken and I proposed would be universal early childhood education from ages zero through five for every child born in America. And as we know, given some of the inequalities that we’re talking about, that already happens in a lot of families.

But some of the recent research shows just the social returns of those early interventions—on developing literacy, and developing social skills, developing executive function skills, and indicators like how many unique words does a child hear at home spoken or read out loud before they turn five or six—is astonishingly predictive, those types of indicators of their performance in primary, and secondary, and tertiary education and the labor market.

That’d be a first rung. I think a second rung is in our formal education system in the United States. Not every young adult who graduates from high school goes on to college. As a lot of us know, only about a third of the American labor force today has a college degree or higher.

There’s about 100 million Americans in the labor force today that do not have a college degree. Most of them may have an associate’s degree or some college. I think the economics is quite clear, that the returns, private and social, to at least an associate’s degree from a community college of some kind are high. That would be the second rung, of fully paid for, not just the tuition, but the living expenses. Because the research shows a lot of people drop out of community colleges not so much because of the tuition per se, but everything else to make it work. That would be a second rung.

Then this notion of ongoing lifelong education informs our idea of a third rung, and we propose that every ten years, every American in the labor force who does not have a college degree or higher would be able, with their employer, to have a $10,000 tax credit for their employer, where the employer would get that tax credit if they provided some sort of ongoing training to that employee.

We were purposefully agnostic about what that training might be. It might be something in-house, it might be an online course, it might be something in person, it might be what in the business school world we traditionally think of as executive education.

The companies have the best sense, and the workers themselves, about that match that they may have, as they move through the decades of their time in the labor force.

Michael Chui: Let me open that aperture a little bit. You started to talk about the tax credit to corporations. We certainly have heard from corporate executives that the demands being placed on corporations have changed, or perhaps even increased, in the 21st century. Can you reflect on that?

Matthew Slaughter: Sometimes the moniker that’s used is—a lot of CEOs are being asked or choosing to think about their capitalist system as stakeholder capitalism rather than shareholder capitalism. I actually applaud, and think very highly of, the executives who recognize, “If all I’m thinking about is shareholder value at different time horizons, I actually won’t even maximize shareholder value, because I’m not thinking about the contributions to that of, importantly, my employees, but customer suppliers and the communities in which we operate.”

I’m convinced of the empirical evidence, not just about the distributive justice. I think it’s the right thing to do because corporations are a social construct in Western civilization with legal rights that are provided by the state to manage risk and allow risk taking, which has been phenomenally empowering in driving productivity growth and helping create whole new industries and so forth.

But I think it’s simply sound management leadership. I think there’s an emerging amount of empirical evidence that shows businesses and the business leaders that think this way, they tend to outperform, in terms of productivity growth and sustained profitability, companies that don’t think this way.

It makes sense, I think, being a CEO or other leader in an organization more complex, because by definition you’ve got multiple stakeholders and you’ve got to come up with measures and different ways to balance those considerations. If I hearken back to my undergraduate days, I think that’s the richness of political economy, and it’s the reality of where we are, especially in this unfortunately more fractious early part of the 21st century.

The skewness of growth of income and wealth in a lot of sovereign nations that the collective global economy’s been delivering, I just think it presents to any business leader an opportunity to say, “Right, how can I try to create more opportunity and have more of my stakeholders be engaged with all that dynamism and that success?”

Michael Chui: How has it changed what you teach at Tuck?

Matthew Slaughter: It’s fundamentally changed what I teach at Tuck. Serving as dean, I can’t teach as much as I used to, but the elective I created a number of years ago partly based on my time in public service and US government in Washington, is—I teach a course called Leadership and the Global Economy, where we convene mock congressional and parliamentary hearings on what I think are some of the most salient global business policy issues of today.

What the students have to do, we pretend, in a US context, we pretend that we’re either the Senate Finance Committee or the House Ways and Means Committee. Students have to prepare testimony, and then we have a selection mechanism. We hold a hearing, and then their classmates cross-examine them.

I play the committee chair. I will teach it again coming up in the winter term here, but when I did it last fall, the topics were the US–China trade war, global warming and climate change, [and] should the US government pay reparations to Black Americans to offset the legacy of systemic racism in America? And do we need a new deal for globalization because of these sorts of issues of inequality that we’ve been discussing?

I tell the students, “You can’t be yourself today; leaders have to envision a tomorrow that’s different from or better than today,” so they have to envision either being a CEO or a leader of some organization today, or they have to envision a future where they are leader of some organization.

It’s great. The students have to own it, and they do. It’s the heart of the class, and yet, I think if I go back to an earlier time where I taught what I would call things more focused on just the economics of the global economy, it’s different.

Michael Chui: How does the modern business leader handle this? There was extreme clarity of purpose when you were looking at a Chicago school shareholder-value view. And now all of these demands are being placed on corporations and their leaders. You’re educating some of the premier leaders in the world, you and the school. What’s your advice?

Matthew Slaughter: It’s a great question. I start with, whether you like it or not, if you aspire to be a leader of a global organization today, you need to think about these issues in our world. Part of what’s interesting, and it’s become very clear, is the characteristics, the talents of a global leader today are quite different from what they used to be.

My wife’s grandfather used to say, “We’ve been given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” That’s true in a lot of relationships in life, but I think it’s increasingly true for the leaders of global organizations. They need to have strong empathy, they need to build inclusivity, they need—the nature of communication is more complex, because they have more stakeholders who are seeking more and more different messages.

Not to sound like a commercial for Tuck, but again, it comes back to our mission statement of developing wise, decisive leaders: the aptitudes of wisdom and decisiveness of which we speak are being a lifelong learner, confident humility, empathy towards others, judgment to make those decisive moves.

Yes, you need to know debits and credits, and the capital asset pricing model, and a lot of the foundational disciplines, that undercurrent of any business education, those are still essential. And yet I think beyond that, what’s required to truly become a transformational manager and leader is more, and more complex, than it used to be.

And our students aspire to have those capabilities. It is a more integrated and more complex world than it used to be. And yet I think that just gives us all—I’m a Tigger by disposition, so in the Winnie-the-Pooh characters, the Tigger in me says, “Wow, that’s great, we need to get the right people, the right skills, whether it’s MBA candidates, or whether it’s someone who, fingers crossed, might take advantage in the Michael Chui presidency of our lifelong ladder of opportunity.”

Michael Chui: Thank you. I’m also curious—you’re also an expert on multinational corporations; you have a global view. To what extent does the move towards stakeholder capitalism, how does that vary around the world?

Matthew Slaughter: Some countries have been thinking about these issues a lot longer than the United States. Again, I’m a US citizen. I think if I look to some of the Nordic countries, there’s been more of an awareness of what it means to be a corporation within a body politic, and the contributions, whether it’s explicitly through the tax system and the corporate taxes, or the integration of some of the multinationals in some of the Nordic countries.

I think of Germany, in the education system and in some of the public policies to build opportunity. I think they’re a little bit farther along than the US. And then there’s some other countries where it’s just not as salient of an issue.

If you go back to the classic political economy and philosophy treatise of the 20th century, John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, one of the themes he analyzed and talked a lot about was how much in a given society individuals in the organizations will trade off basic economic goods against some higher-order values. Different societies have different points on that.

I think multinational companies, in the United States and many other countries, are oftentimes perceived to be part of a problem, a deep problem of, you’ve got rapacious CEOs who don’t care about anything other than profits, and their activities are simply exporting jobs outside of the home country, to the detriment of everyone else.

Can we find anecdotes where multinational companies expand abroad and that substitutes for what they do in their home countries? Absolutely. And yeah, the peer-reviewed research time and again continues to find that on average, expansion abroad by multinational companies tends to complement that, substitute for what they do at home.

More hiring abroad tends to trigger more hiring back in the home country, and more research and development, and so there tends to be actually this positive association with expansion around the world of multinationals. And again, MGI’s done a lot of the leading work on this, in addition to some of the academic studies.

If you look at the productivity distribution of companies, cause and effect runs in both directions. But the multinationals tend to be among the most dynamic, the most productive, the highest average wage, the highest innovation companies on the planet. And when I come back to public policy, I oftentimes frame it as, “How can we get more companies to have their performance like multinationals and, in fact, become multinational?” That’s the key policy question in terms of building opportunity.

Building the human capital for people in part is going to mean you get more amazing companies that get founded, or scaled up existing firms that have those high-performance features that lead to the good jobs and good wages that we’re all seeking.

Michael Chui: If we can pull on that thread a little bit, and also the connection between multinationals and the labor market—you write a column with another Matt, Matt Rees. And on one of the latest ones, you talked about an India-based corporation opening a facility and hiring people in Indianapolis, which I presume is not just because of the similarity in the names. What happened there?

Matthew Slaughter: Infosys is an India-based multinational, and early in India’s opening to the global economy after India’s bouts of pretty much crisis in the early 1990s, they realized their opening, the advance and creation of the internet. They could develop a competitive advantage as a company providing services to large, global multinationals to perform some of the more moderate tasks, tradable services activities around accountancy, around human resources management.

Infosys was one of these Indian multinationals that really grew from India to provide these outsourcing services to a lot of Western-based multinationals. And yet, like a lot of global multinationals, their competitive advantage evolved over time.

They realized as more competitors arose in that, they realized they could create more value for their clients by actually providing a broader range of services that were higher talent, more complementary to what those firms were already doing.

Infosys realized, like a lot of firms, you hear time and again, the scarcest constraint on their strategic intent is having the right talent to bring that strategy to life and to implement it. And so they’re one of what oftentimes gets called these insourcing companies, in an American lexicon.

They’re foreign-based multinationals who establish and expand operations here. And they’ve realized proximity to clients in the US matters. They’ve realized that the risk-taking, the pools of talent, the dynamism of the US economy, some of the deep sources of competitive advantage for the United States, they wanted more access to.

It’s kind you mention this piece with Matt Rees. Our Slaughter & Rees Report, the most recent one, just talked about that as an example of when we see in the United States a lot of individuals, it’s oftentimes been termed this nice phrase, “the Great Resignation.”

A lot of individuals postpandemic in the United States are contemplating what labor they want to supply, in some economic sense, at what price, and where, and how. And some of the most nimble and dynamic companies, again, we know are the global multinationals. Infosys is one of the foreign-based multinationals that adds a bunch of vibrancy to the US economy.

Michael Chui: This is a story about tradable services. We’re talking in late 2021, there is a lot of discussion about supply chain issues, primarily in physical goods, and lots of people are talking about it and writing about all those sorts of things. Open that up. To you as a globalization expert, what’s going on here, and what do we think is going to happen?

Matthew Slaughter: Global supply chains, we have known, generate great efficiencies, but that efficiency of lower prices, and costs, wider variety, enabled a lot of firms to have had what was oftentimes called a just-in-time production and inventory management system. That was a finely optimized system. But economists know that optimization can have perturbations that are highly nonlinear.

What we’ve experienced, both on the demand and the supply side amidst the pandemic, are these perturbations to the initial system that have led to wildly nonlinear results. On the demand side, I think not everybody anticipated that when the pandemic hit, and there was going to need to be this supply shock, a withdrawal of a lot of production of services, nontradable services, that households, either from their own balance sheets or with the unprecedented fiscal supports, would dramatically shift and increase the demand for goods.

That surge in demand for goods was unexpected. And then we continue to see supply-side shocks in the global supply chains. Understandably, from a public health perspective, but fewer people crossing borders. You see, at key nodes in global supply chains, port shutdowns that have been unprecedented because of public health requirements.

In certain sovereign nations where one or two COVID cases will shut down ports for 48 or 96 hours—and in the United States and other countries, I think we’ve realized—the fragile optimization around some of the domestic supply chain linkages, and this gets back to the labor shocks again that we were talking about a few minutes ago.

You give me demand shocks, you give me supply shocks, in a very finely optimized global system, and you see shortages, you see rising prices in ways that are oftentimes hard to predict. But if you go back to the academic research, we kind of knew this could be possible. We simply hadn’t had this confluence of demand and supply shocks that the pandemic tragically has brought upon us.

Michael Chui: I think some of the MGI research actually suggests that these types of perturbations are surprisingly common and will be surprisingly common going forward.

Matthew Slaughter: Totally. I think this is one of the many cool things that MGI does, is pointing that out, and let’s remember the many massive benefits that the globalization of production has generated. Raising average standards of living—as literally billions of people have been acceding into the global economic system, directly or indirectly, their participation in these global supply chains has been central to that.

And it’s difficult to think that those underlying forces are magically going to go away. Not that we don’t need to think about what public policy costs that fragility generates, and it kind of comes back to the basic issue we started this great conversation on, which is how do you try to ensure that the economic impacts and opportunity from this creative destruction of globalization is—the opportunity’s as broad as possible, and whatever the right sets of social supports to offset the dynamic pressures, that they’re there.

As we were talking [about], I think there’s been a secular growth in pressures on creating more opportunity that the United States, if I had the magic wand, we would have been doing more earlier on the public policy side. I’ve written a lot on this.

The pandemic has just brought that home, to recognize, “Wow, the global economy, as amazing as it is for the world overall and on average, it’s got complexity to it that we need to be thoughtful about in terms of what forward-looking public policies we have.”

Michael Chui: We have so many more other things that we could talk about, but I want to make sure we save some for our next conversation. So with that, if you don’t mind, why don’t we do a lightning round of quick questions, quick answers for you, and you can feel free to pass at any point? All right, here we go. What’s the greatest underappreciated benefit of globalization?

Matthew Slaughter: The empowerment of human spirit. People can dream in a way that they didn’t know [was] possible when they see what’s happening around the world.

Michael Chui: What’s the greatest underappreciated risk or cost of globalization?

Matthew Slaughter: If people don’t feel empowered to embrace that dynamism, they’re afraid, understandably. And how that fear can manifest itself in the body politic.

Michael Chui: What’s one policy you would recommend to improve the benefits of globalization for the following regions: the United States?

Matthew Slaughter: Build a lifelong ladder of opportunity for every American.

Michael Chui: The European Union?

Matthew Slaughter: Foster more dynamism in start-ups and the business sector.

Michael Chui: The United Kingdom?

Matthew Slaughter: Undo Brexit.

Michael Chui: China?

Matthew Slaughter: Embrace openness of all kinds.

Michael Chui: This is going to be overly general, but developing countries?

Matthew Slaughter: Embrace openness of all kinds. And by that I mean of the human spirit, too, and human rights.

Michael Chui: What is the most important opportunity CEOs of multinational corporations should keep in mind in the 21st century?

Matthew Slaughter: If you articulate a compelling strategy for all of your stakeholders, you will have the talent you need to achieve beyond your wildest aspirations.

Michael Chui: What’s the greatest risk CEOs of multinational corporations should keep in mind in the 21st century?

Matthew Slaughter: How different the relationship is with your key employees. They’re expecting you to be an organization that is engaged in the world’s wickedest problems, not just to generate shareholder value.

Michael Chui: If you had one topic that corporate boards should spend more time on, on their agendas, what would it be?

Matthew Slaughter: Engagement with public policy in a way that is supporting national and cross-country goals.

Michael Chui: There’s only so much time for corporate boards to meet. So then what topics should corporate boards spend less time on?

Matthew Slaughter: Next quarter’s profit goals.

Michael Chui: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?

Matthew Slaughter: If the magic wand is powerful enough, either playing tennis on the ATP Tour, or on the PGA Tour of golf.

Michael Chui: You’ve got to choose. Tennis or golf?

Matthew Slaughter: Golf.

Michael Chui: Why?

Matthew Slaughter: You learn an immense amount about a human’s character when you walk around and golf with them.

Michael Chui: What would be your one piece of advice for listeners of this podcast?

Matthew Slaughter: I know the world is fractious and hard, but be a Tigger. Find the optimist, and channel that in yourself and those around you.

Michael Chui: Matt Slaughter, thanks so much for joining us.

Matthew Slaughter: Michael, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

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