The JUST Report: Will This Business Decade Be Turbulent, Tepid, or Transformational?

Hi – it’s Alison Omens, President of JUST Capital, filling in for Martin with a dispatch this week from Washington D.C., where JUST Capital’s media partner, CNBC, hosted their second annual CEO Council Summit. Given our location and the upcoming election, much of the conversation centered on how CEOs can navigate the political environment to lead in transitional and turbulent times.

The Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, kicked off the morning with a challenge to leaders that I appreciated. She noted that this decade is still being defined and that the Twenties may come to be known by one of three ‘T’ words: turbulent, tepid, or transformational. She urged business leaders to steer toward the latter path.

But other leaders had a different message.

In their own ways, Speaker Mike Johnson, FTC Chair Lina Khan, and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, who leads the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, all signaled the importance of business staying in its lane without running into enforcement challenges or overstepping on social or political matters. 

This message left an interesting challenge in my mind, something that JUST Capital spends our time on – understanding what business leadership means today.

There were two additional ‘T’ words that Georgieva didn’t use, but I think are highly relevant here. One is transition. This moment is transitional for businesses, whether transitioning to an AI future, changing demographics, climate, or shifting political winds. To navigate these transitions, I recommend looking at JUST Capital’s extensive polling of the American people for guidance. The public is clear, regardless of ideology: focus on your own workforce. Create jobs with good wages and benefits in communities that need them.

The second ‘T’ word, also derived from the polling, is transparency. Transparency signals priority and direction, and Americans clearly believe it to be a necessary part of effective business leadership today (check out this Agenda Week article about the importance of transparency on workforce and human capital issues with JUST Capital’s data).

Each business leader needs to forge their own path on how to guide their organization through challenging times. Through the turbulence, focusing on workers and transparency will be key. 

Quote of the Week

“If all the women are secretaries, and all the men are executives and you don’t tell us that, you have not given us the information that we need to assess whether or not you’re really an employer that values all types of people.” 

JUST in the News

Two weeks ago, we released the CRE Alliance Standards, which is a roadmap for businesses to advance equity and inclusion, combat discrimination, and embody the best of socially responsible business. 

But, to bring these standards to life, we must work together.

Contribute to the development of the standards by taking part in our public comment period. If you want to lend your perspective on the topics of corporate governance and leadership, internal infrastructure, workplace culture, workforce diversity, job quality, products and services and/or a socially responsible value chain, take our online survey or sign up for a virtual roundtable discussion before September 13. 

Read the standards and take the survey inside.


Business Insider highlights a McKinsey study that says AI has the power to disrupt the job market by 2030 as severely as COVID did in 2020. 

The Washington Post reports that a dozen of current and former employees at OpenAI and other prominent AI companies warned that the technology poses grave risks to humanity in a Tuesday letter, calling on these businesses to implement sweeping transparency changes. Learn more here. 

Must Reads

Bloomberg is reporting that key engines of US spending are declining all at once, alongside increases in credit usage as disposable income declines.

Meanwhile, Walgreens joins Target and several other retailers in slashing prices on over 1300 common items within its stores to help out their customers. CBS News has the story. 

In possibly the strangest business story of the week, the CEO of Chipotle had to answer questions about “shrinkflation” in Fortune this week after several Tik-Tok videos went viral claiming that the chain was skimping on meat in their orders. 

Chart of the Week

This chart comes from a deep dive into the data within our JUST Jobs Scorecard via Gretchen Lenth at Agenda Week, highlighting which data points different companies are disclosing across industries. Explore this interactive chart and others in the full article. 

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!