Think, and Challenge Traditional CSR
Corporate social responsibility as we know it continues to influence the business landscape. As it does so, the idea that CSR exists in a subsection of an organisation, siloed to a specific department, will begin to fade away. As you will see from this article, social value goes beyond talking about cutting CO2 emissions or saving paper. These are a given and are already expected of organisations. Instead, you need to be thinking about ways of going beyond the norm, and to consider social initiatives that transcend individual departments or roles – causes that affect everyone internally within the business, as well as externally.
To do this effectively, companies need to think more innovatively about the social projects they plan to invest in. They need to implement CSR across the organisation – embedding it within all processes. What this means is that we challenge the traditional understanding of CSR, and the limitations of that, and spearhead new definitions of CSR and what they actually means for socially conscious businesses.
Instead, Think of Sustainability as > CSR
Sustainability is about a forward-thinking strategy. It is about getting a forward-thinking point of view that is embedded in your company, which influences behaviours and decision processes.
By thinking about sustainability, rather than CSR, you begin to actively shift and adapt your business methods. This train of thought encourages you to reflect on procurement processes, your supply chain, about the technologies you are investing in, and more generally about the very infrastructure of your business.
89% of businesses acknowledge that failing to implement sustainability practices poses a risk to them, with the biggest concern being the financial impact. By thinking sustainably, you are actively mitigating those concerns, and thinking long-term about the survival of your company.
Then you need to start thinking about abundance, the successor of sustainability, commented on by author Afdhel Aziz. This concept expands upon sustainability by stressing that while we should be embracing current technology, we should be pushing those barriers and being innovative with how they can offer solutions. This is the perspective that we should be exploring the ways we can tailor these technological advancements to combat the social challenges facing our worldwide community, to create unity and an abundance of sustainability for all.
Hint, hint. We think AI is the key.
Think Diversity of Staff and Diversity of Thought
The diversity of staff is something that all organisations should aspire to. It shouldn’t be something that is forced, or actioned in order to meet quotas but applied because it is the best way to operate. Diversity and inclusion allows people to learn about new ways of doing things, new languages, new points of view which are then reinvested back into your organisation.
Within a business context, diversity and growth go hand-in-hand. Fundamentally, companies exist because they offer a solution, through a service or a product, to an identified problem. In the majority of instances, solutions do not come from one single person. Solutions develop, they are nurtured and evolve as a result of hard work, determination and through the development of thought. Different people invest their ideas and opinions based on their personal experiences and exposures, allowing the solution to flourish and materialise as a product or service.
Now, imagine the wealth of ideas that come from different people – derived from their exclusive experiences within society. Consider the thought opportunities when you involve people of colour, people with a disability, and people who identify with the LGBT+ community. Those unique experiences, perceptions, and life lessons equate to a greater diversity of thought. Conceivably, this explains why companies that have women on their boards experience a 42% increment in their sales and a 66% higher return on capital. We argue that diversity in business should be associated with success, so here’s how to encourage it…