Communications

CEO’s Letter: The Least Responsible Industry of the Year

elliot-clark By Elliot Clark Usually if I wanted to discuss bad behavior, I would single out a specific company for some egregious action, but I cannot distinguish one company as more villainous than the others in the industry that earns the "least responsible" prize this year. What do you think the position of Corporate Responsibility Magazine would be if a company consistently tried to sell a product that is not what they claim it is? I think we would be pretty outraged. And we are outraged, but the industry we need to decry is our own. I am embarrassed to be part of the media. To be clear: this is my opinion. I will not be offering opinion-based copy as impartial journalistic fact. But, I may be the last of a dying breed. To be fair, maybe I am giving the media too much credit. In the most recent (2016) Gallup poll of U.S. consumers, only 24 percent believe the media is not biased, and only 32 percent trust the media. I spoke about my concerns at the COMMITIForum on Oct. 18. This year, the media successfully diverted and distracted from—and disregarded even—the basic rules of journalism.

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Social Media Checklist: How many of these best practices are you doing?

Social Media Checklist: How many of these best practices are you doing?

By Marissa Rosen

These days, sustainability and social media go hand-in-hand.

If you’re saving energy, greening your supply chain, recycling end-use products, or building employee engagement initiatives, chances are that you want to let your customers and prospects know. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, there’s a strategy out there that’ll fit your company’s need to communicate your sustainability successes.

Not only can social media serve as a platform to share your news, but also it can provide your company with a transparent means of engaging in two-way conversations with clients. They may have questions or comments about your ingenuities, so now you’ll be prepared to answer swiftly and deftly.

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Can you get 190,000 people thinking about CR?

GM’s trying—and here are 15 of their best practices

By Bill Hatton

Senior executives tend to be self-motivated and possess a strong desire to succeed, and obstacles tend to be seen as bumps on the road to something greater. They believe things like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body” and “No guts, no glory.” That is, they are engaged, engaged and more engaged.

But not everyone is. Some people are happy to collect their paycheck and go home. They may do a “good enough” job or just do the minimum, but they aren’t engaged. Others’ engagement wavers. Disappointments and obstacles slow them down, or stop them altogether. And they may make excuses—“Hey, I offered my suggestions, and they didn’t listen.”

Senior leaders thus need to find ways to get people more driven at work, engaged with their work, taking initiative on issues such as quality and customer service, and not to allow obstacles to stop them or demoralize them.

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Big Ideas Need to Date, Mate, & Procreate

Big Ideas Need to Date, Mate, & Procreate

By Richard Crespin


Sex makes evolution work. Each succeeding generation experiments with the best (or worst) of a pair of genes taken from the prior generation through the magic of procreation. What works for evolution can also work for ideas. In The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley contends that human progress really took off when ideas started “having sex.” For really big leaps forward in human culture to occur, “...ideas needed to meet and mate... [because] exchange is to cultural evolution as sex is to biological evolution.” When good ideas mate they create even better ideas.

Our own research on innovation shows that the best ideas rarely come from people steeped in one field, but rather between people from different fields.
In fact, evolutionary biologists have shown that
when communities of humans lose touch with other communities, their progress stagnates and even regresses.

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Creating shared value: More old-fashioned than it sounds

Medieval guilds, value-added selling, and plain old needs-spotting

By Bill Hatton

I will admit a bias: I was dubious about the term shared value, especially when the increasingly popular term became an acronym CSV for Creating Shared Value. It’s not the larger concept or any of the individual concepts with CSV that I objected to. It’s the idea that this is a new concept that (initially) set my nose out of joint. Or rather, the fulsome, unabashed praise it has received as a new way of doing business. It actually comes from business concepts that go way back.

Shared Value, as you recall, is a term popularized by business- strategy gurus Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in a 2006 article in Harvard Business Review. CSV has been growing in popularity ever since, especially among C-level execs in multinational corporations. It’s a concept that companies can “do good” through their core businesses, i.

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Is failing fast the best way to collaborate?

Some tools to boost your ability to partner effectively

By Richard Crespin

Fail fast. Fail forward. That’s the latest advice from Silicon Valley’s startups. But if you work in a large institution, “fail” is a four letter word. Even if your corporate culture respects smart failure, when you collaborate with partners from the public or civil sector, their cultures may not. We can, though, adapt these startup techniques to form more effective public- private-civil partnerships by doing three things: start with data, recruit strange bedfellows, and co-create.

Start with data. Problems that need public-private-civil collaboration are messy. They don’t have easy-to-understand causes and no one party can solve them on their own. But we crave simplicity, so attempts to solve these problems usually devolve into a witch-hunt or a search for silver bullets.

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Nonprofit Motive

What for-profits can learn from the likes of NGOs.

By Melissa Fleming

Consumers are demanding corporate social responsibility from the companies whose products or services they purchase. According to the 2013 Cone Communications/EchoGlobal CSR Study, 91 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, and only 7 percent think it’s enough for companies to engage in issues through donations. Nonprofits have developed approaches and skills that for-profits could benefit from as well:

Compelling mission—internal benefits. Most people want to do work that really matters. Working for a nonprofit is rewarding, because the organization has meaning built into its mission.

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How ORM Helps HR

Top talent vets potential employers. Be prepared.

  By Mike Zammuto

When recruiting new talent, an HR department is not just selling a job description and a set of benefits; the department is selling the company itself, its identity and its corporate reputation. Top-shelf talents, especially executive-level talents, take this very seriously, as evidenced by the perpetual lists of “best companies to work for.” These would-be employees are all too willing to check out potential employers on the Web, and as such, an adverse online reputation can sink a company’s prospects of landing those most desirable employees. Anything from consumer complaints to corporate PR breakdowns can cause a corporation to lose its luster—and thus, lose its ability to bring in stellar new talents— which is why HR departments must take online reputation management seriously.

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CollaborateUp

A new paradigm for fomenting public-private partnerships.

 By Richard Crespin

Neanderthals, once regarded as the bigger, dumber, slower precursor of Homo sapiens, might actually have been stronger, smarter, and faster than us. But after Homo sapiens encroached, Neanderthal eventually died out. The running theory: while smaller in body and brain, Homo sapiens out-collaborated the hermetic Neanderthal.

On December 17th, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, went to his municipal office and lit himself on fire. Social media lit up and within hours protests broke out across the region. People around the world knew about Bouazizi’s act almost as it was happening. Not only did people know about it, they reacted on a grand scale.

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