Organisations, especially companies wanting to make profits, are increasingly becoming concerned with advancing social progress. It’s called ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and forms part of an increasing drive by Companies to win back and enhance public trust.
In many cases their response is now becoming less about being ‘expedience’ i.e. doing so because it’s a ‘must’ and makes good marketing sense, and more about their recognition that a ‘social contract’ exists under which, in exchange for people buying from them, they will behave in ethical ways that enhance consumers utility from their products (thereby creating mutual profit), remedying their damage to the planet and enhancing our common social cohesion.
This is because businesses do not operate in isolation. They form part of a whole, and must be a cohesive force in an ecosystem comprising of social expectation, social norms and, we hope, sensible Government policies. Effective businesses will want to initiate collective community action, whilst measuring and reporting on the positive impact they are having.
As this process evolves it will be critical that people and businesses agree:
1. A common agenda or set of priorities.
2. An agreed means of measuring progress.
3. Mutually supportive and re-enforcing actions.
4. Effective communications – that is ‘good conversations’.
5. Commitment to support initiatives
All of which will lead to a set of shared and common values, focused on people, planet and profits.
Getting business and the community organised around this is essential and needs a structure to feed it.