The new great is good — Responsible Business
The role of business in society is changing. Our world’s future needs socially responsible businesses that deliver MORE VALUE to ALL STAKEHOLDERS, not just shareholders. Any company that cares about profit only will be seen as “old-fashioned and irresponsible”.
Whilst the existing economic system doesn’t yet recognise the value of businesses that take a more socially responsible position in society… PEOPLE DO. If there is any authenticity in the frequently declared ambition to design businesses around people and humans, not just customers, then we should be prepared to think, live, work and act accordingly.
More of us need to have conversations that broaden perspective, gain and raise awareness and ask questions that lead to action. Questions like:
- What if businesses existed to improve the longer term condition of the community and environment they are part of?
- What if a businesses role in improving the condition of a community was so central that the business itself thrives as the community does?
- How can a business thrive economically in a world that values the human condition and future state of our planet before profit?
Businesses and brands are arguably becoming the institutions of our generation and with that comes great opportunity but greater responsibility. We shouldn’t be shy about commercial success, but it can’t be at the expense of people, society or our planet.
The challenges associated in this shift are complex, audacious and diverse. We need to work in a way that gives ideas and solutions the best chance of success, identifying and articulating problems in a simpler way. If problems are too big we need to break them down and solve them interdependently. Not enough of us are focused on the problems worth solving.
Technology enables us to communicate and collaborate like never before, organising ourselves around shared beliefs, values and emotional truths to unlock benefits of co-operative but competitive working. Even forming ‘peer partnerships’ to tackle societal problems.
We can improve the chances of making the changes that need to happen, happen. The practises and processes of innovation will be instrumental to asses, adapt and act to the rapid human demand for more responsible businesses of the world.