Here at the Center, we spend a lot of time thinking about how our members can make the good work they do in CSR go even further. We scan research publications in the management and social sciences disciplines related to corporate citizenship, work with some of the top thinkers in the field, and conduct our own research to provide our more than 400 members with the insights that help drive business and social value.
Let's be honest—every day we wake up with a different level of energy and patience to think big and manage our corporate citizenship efforts. We each juggle the need to be strategists, issue area experts, catalysts for internal and external action, and practical leaders about what we can accomplish. This process is not easy and requires a lot more than caffeine.
The following is excerpted from the most recent issue of The Corporate Citizen, the Center’s biannual magazine.
Setting audacious long-term goals and working toward them is the central challenge of every business. One of the challenges for high-performing companies is creating evolutionary goals that are based on a vision for a sustainable future.
Addressing Boston College’s CEO Club in May 2014, Mark Parker, president and chief executive officer of NIKE, Inc., shared the company’s evolutionary process: “We wanted a mission statement and a set of values and guiding principles that were really true to the spirit of the company—that were forward-looking, aspirational, and something that employees would actually reference and use in their work.”
"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford
Spring is a time of transition. Here in Boston, we at the Center are beginning to feel the sense of possibility that accompanies the season. Throughout this long winter, corporate citizenship practitioners have kept their noses to the grindstone, and have continued to accomplish remarkable goals. Now, with the new season, it’s time to step back and take stock of where we are in this field, what we hope to accomplish, and how we plan to get there together.
Philanthropy and community engagement have become integral parts of business, but there are many ways and means by which companies can organize and manage such efforts. For some companies, foundations offer a convenient mechanism to oversee social investments, while others may choose to give solely from within a corporate giving platform. We know that society’s expectations of firms are high and there are therefore many reasons a company may decide to give, including:
With submissions from 58 companies and more than 40,000 individuals casting votes, this year’s International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival attracted an enormous amount of attention to stories of successful corporate citizenship programs. Now the voting has closed and the results are in. Each finalist video, based on popular vote, offers a unique perspective, touching on important issues within both the CSR field and our communities. The final winner, chosen by a panel of industry judges, will be announced on Sunday, April 19th at the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference in Austin, TX.
Do you know the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto? Probably not, but you may know or at least experience his principle, the Pareto Principle—better known as the 80-20 Rule.
The Pareto principle states that approximately 80 percent of effects happen because of 20 percent of the causes. Malcolm Gladwell speaks about the Pareto Principle, referring to it as "The Law of the Few" in his book, The Tipping Point.
Snow is on our minds here in Boston, 102 inches of it to be exact. We are ready for a spring thaw. Even the best laid plans have had their challenges this winter. During a recent conversation, a local member company mentioned that they even felt their corporate citizenship strategy was frozen in place. They had been making progress, but things just seemed to slow down once the snow set in. They wanted to know: How do other companies thaw out their corporate citizenship strategy each year? How do they keep it from getting frozen in the first place? For answers, I turned to members of the Center’s Professional Services Sustainability Roundtable and Community Involvement Roundtable. The Center has more than 400 companies representing 21 industries and a large range of company sizes, but the advice these corporate leaders gave regarding strategy was extremely consistent.
“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives — the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change — truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.” - Salman Rushdie, author
At our upcoming conference, we will convene some of the greatest minds in CSR to create a blueprint for designing compelling corporate citizenship goals with 20/20 vision. When you attend, you'll hear from leaders including Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, management practice advisor and MIT professor Don Sull, and futurist Alexis Madrigal to spur your thinking about how to work smarter, see further, and maximize opportunities. Each speaker brings a unique perspective to help you think differently and achieve your vision.