Corporate social responsibility is a cornerstone of what we do at the Stillman School of Business. What irks me most about this topic is that I see too many companies do “efforts” in the guise of corporate social responsibility but in reality, “the effort” is just for the public relations hit and not for any strategic reason related to the overall direction of the firm.
I’m happy to say that a friend, Ian Schafer, is doing something about the non-strategic corporate social responsibility efforts which are all too common. Ian is the Founder and former CEO of Deep Focus and is now the Co-Founder and CEO of Kindred (@Kindred) – a new firm focused on connecting purpose-driven brands/companies with digital community members, influencers, and social/digital platforms “to accelerate the next generation of social movements.” Too many companies either to not have the bandwidth or the know how to sustain a true and strategic corporate social responsibility movement and Kindred can help bridge this gap.
It was Ian’s post on LinkedIn titled “The New Age of Accountability” that was the Genesis of this post. He’s clearly advocates for firms to go beyond maximizing shareholder:
“Profits should no longer be the sole measure of a company’s success, just as wealth isn’t the true measure of a human’s. True, modern, business leadership should be evaluated by the adeptness with which one aligns stakeholderandshareholder interests, and the ability to show just how good for business doing the good things are.
In other words, the best business leaders will move more good to the bottom line; the netimpactof a business should beinclusiveof the netprofitsthat it’s able to generate (net impact=[progress x profits]/investment).”
In summary, I could not agree more. In our classes, we like to talk about “The Triple Bottom Line.” Sure, a business or organization needs revenue to sustain the enterprise but revenue alone should not be the driving mindset. We also advocate two additional bottom lines: one for social responsibility and another for environmental responsibility.
In bottom-UP world of today, the voice of the crowd can be very powerful (see #MeToo). I feel the crowd, via the social/digital platforms, can hold the C-Suite accountable for all three bottom lines.
Something to think about today…
Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University