Why Businesses Need to Embrace Externalities

At the first minute of this clip, Christopher Meyer of Monitor Talent states that: In my mind, this clip leads to discussion of whether or not CSR is little more than window dressing that diverts the attention (of external stakeholders) away but ultimately does not serve the firm over the long run. That, instead of donating money to causes whose only direct link would be one of market demogr…

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When Will Business As Usual Change?

Last week was "boot camp". 200 MBA students engaged in a week of sustainability.   Lectures,  panels, movies, workshops, and case studies. It was an intense period that precedes their projects (we launched 34 student projects at the same time), and is meant to give students an understanding of the issues faced (environmental, social, and economic), the role of the firm, and the responsibility t…

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2012 AMCHAM CSR Conference to Focus on Social Innovation

for me, there have been few organizations that have been consistently ahead of the game on CSR in China than the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Founded in 2004/5 by a small group of committed professionals, it was one of the few groups who was doing anything at the time. A time when less than 10 people in Shanghai carried cards with "CSR" on them. Now, nearly 10 years later, the commit…

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Mapping the Future of Social Innovation

When I first saw this map on a Google+ posting I was awed struck by the sheer size of the brand portfolios exist. Of course, I knew for years that these groups were actively consolidating a number pf brands (including the "green" ones), but when it is put onto a map like this ... well, wow. Interestingly enough,  over the last 2 weeks I have had three discussions with firms represented in the…

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Responsible Firms Act Before Governments Do

building off the presentations and research I have given recently on "Beyond Business As Usual", one of the common themes of discussion is why and how firms will act when it comes to living up to their responsibility to more than just the bottom line. That, with the cost of externalities of the current business as usual model rising, a new dynamic is beginning to take shape where firms who do not…

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Why Won’t Firms Do More “Good” With Less Profit?

Last week,  when I asked my friends on Facebook for their opinion on my recent presentation on Beyond Business As Usual, I was asked by one friend "whatever happened to doing the right thing even if it impacted the bottom line?" It was a great question, and I had two hree reasons why more firms have not traditionally been willing to see "good" as the "right" thing to do through their corporation:…

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The Power of Firms to do Good

This evening while speaking with the CSR manager of a large services firm, we were discussing the impact that a CSR manager can have within the firm. It was an interesting conversation because (1) it was centered around corporate volunteering, the structure that a corporation has in place, and the ability of a single person (who is supported) to leverage that work and (2) we compared her work aga…

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Moving Beyond Business As Usual Towards Sustainability

Last week, in partnership with HK Polytechnic, I co-organized with Poly U an event called the Opportunities Beyond Business as Usual for  nearly 100 alumni and business executives.  An event that came about through discussions about the future of business, and the future of social enterprises, we specifically made the decision to use the two hours to make the case that business as usual was goin…

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Equivalency Versus Expediency

For many CSR managers, one of the more challenging (mind numbing) aspects of transacting an international donation can be the regulatory hurdles, and for U.S. firms there are two IRS channels whereby this can be accomplished: 1. Equivalency Determination: Involves gathering a significant amount of background information and documentation from the foreign charity, and then having a US Based law fi…

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