From “Doing” Social Responsibility to “Being” Social Responsible
I just inaugurated a bi-monthly expert blog on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at www.justmeans.com, one of the leading Corporate Social Responsibility websites and communities. The thrust of the blog will be to move CSR and Corporate Sustainability from something we DO to something we ARE – something we embody on every level in an organization.
Why? Because my observations in client companies and interviews with large multinationals show that many of the institutionalized CSR programs are only as strong as the revenues or margins of the organization – and as soon as revenues or margins become jeopardized, sustainability or CSR efforts are placed at the bottom end of the agenda (if they still make it at all onto the agenda at all).
As I mention in the first Justmeans blog post: “The challenge is to shift CSR to something organizations “Are” – something that is embodied throughout the organization; from top executive to the sales person on the road. In my opinion, we only get the necessary traction once CSR touches everyone in an organization, where CSR shifts from a doctrine to a personal matter. As long as companies see CSR as something they “Do”, it becomes like an institutionalized religion: the ideas are great, but as soon as someone comes along stating “This is the way it has to be done”, it turns into a doctrine. And as in any doctrine, the result will be opponents and proponents wasting time as they engage in conflict about “what’s right” and “what’s wrong”.”
In the next posting on Justmeans, I will introduce the Conscious Business Institute’s approach to sustainability (picture) and discuss how corporate ethics, sustainability and CSR can be better engrained into any company’s fabric. To read more on Justmeans, click here.