Author Archives: KGilliam

Governance and the CRA

We are all aware of the term, “environmental, social and governance” – also known as ESG.  It describes the three central factors used in the investment community to measure the sustainability and ethical impact of an organization.  Although the environmental and social elements are very familiar to the CR practitioner, we may struggle at times to appreciate “governance.” 

Governance is defined as a “system by which an organization makes and implements decisions in pursuit of its objectives” (ISO 26000: 2010 – Guidance on Social Responsibility).  The definition is broad.  So how does governance work in our day-to-day activities within the organizations that each of us belong to?

One on my responsibilities involves serving as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Corporate Responsibility Officer’s Association, Inc.

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Spring is considered by most to be a time of renewal

Spring is considered by most to be a time of renewal.  This tradition has been embraced by the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA).  I am Bob Pojasek, and I am the Executive Chair of the CRA.  This is my first blog post for the CRA and I will be doing this monthly going forward.    Very soon, we will be launching our new newsletter, a new website and a new LinkedIn site.  CRA will be holding its own track within CR Magazine’s Commit!Forum in New York City on October 8-9, 2013.  There are many other changes in progress.

As the Chair of the CRA Executive Board, I welcome you to become involved.  Our Advisory Board crafted a statement of what this association is dedicated to accomplish.  “CROA seeks to educate and engage leaders in all sectors to understand the importance of corporate responsibility and sustainability as a key part of how their organization operates.

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Meet the New Membership Team at the CRA

Let me begin by saying thank you to Richard and Kim for their tremendous leadership and guidance of the Corporate Responsibility Association. Please allow me to introduce myself and the new Manager of Member Services, Heather Nielsen.

 Allie Williams, IOM – Executive Director, comes to the CRA and SharedXpertise with a background in Organizational Management and Corporate Sales. He served as Director of Membership in the Office of Federation Relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for nearly 8 years, raising significant revenue and providing strategic outreach to strengthen the federation of state, metro and local chambers of commerce throughout the country.

 For 4 ½ years, he was the Director of Organizational Development at the American Chamber of Commerce Executive, a trade and professional society where he exceeded membership revenue goal and built visibility for the ACCE brand at state chamber conferences.

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Sandy’s Big Price for Small Businesses

 According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, up to 90% of small businesses get the majority of their business from within two miles of their front doors. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) estimates that between 60,000 and 100,000 small businesses have already been negatively impacted and as many as 30% of them will fail in the coming months.

We’ve seen this story play out before.

Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Joplin Tornado, we saw a predictable boom/bust cycle. With relief agencies and organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross pouring in, economic activity slowly comes back to life. As insurance payments get processed and rebuilding begins, an economic boomlet starts. But rebuilding housing, vital infrastructure, and other structures always takes longer than expected and residents put off returning or end up resettling elsewhere.

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COMMIT!Forum Shines a Spotlight on Evolving CR Issues

Internet freedom, human rights, trust, transparency and youth programs were just a few of the issues discussed at the 2012 COMMIT!Forum this past October in New York City. The speakers –CEOs, government leaders, policy-makers and heads of non-profit organizations – noted in the follow-up interviews that the Forum allowed them to engage the 700-person audience in how important these issues are to business leaders and their stakeholders.

Michael Petricone, senior vice president of Consumer Electronics Association, notes that even though companies and business leaders in many cases see the importance of such issues as cyber security, intellectual property, and digital or internet freedom, they are still trying to figure out the way to responsibly serve their consumers by protecting their internet rights while maximizing the company’s profit.

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A Gold Medal for Corporate Philanthropy

Hershey Foods Teams with Former Olympian Carl Lewis to Teach Kids Fitness and Moderation

I wrote a column a few weeks ago about corporate fitness and wellness programs. I decried the lack of planning “responsible” companies were directing at the health of their employees in the area of wellness. Shortly after the article ran I received a call from a Hershey’s representative about programs they were running to instill healthy values in kids. The spokesperson for the program was none other than Carl Lewis, the great Olympian who was voted the “Olympian of the Century” for the Twentieth Century by none other than the International Olympic Committee.

I arranged the interview because I wanted to hear about the Hershey’s Track and Field Program which just concluded this past weekend.  I also wanted to ask  Lewis about why he partnered with Hershey’s.

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How Governments Can Tap Corporate Responsibility to Address Public Issues

 

Often, government looks to the private sector for best practice ideas regarding operational efficiency, cost reductions, and technical innovation. An emerging new approach to industry collaboration taps into the consciousness of corporate responsibility to meet very specific needs.

 

 

The concept of corporate responsibility covers a broad spectrum of corporate “give back” including governance, social responsibility, philanthropy and, most recently sustainability.  Generally, corporate responsibility focuses on an individual organization’s relationship with its community, stakeholders, and customers, and the way in which it contributes to the world around it beyond profit and shareholder value -- sharing and contributing to something bigger than the immediate economic well being of the organization.

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Right-Wing Hippies and Centrist Radicals? The Key to Rethinking USA Inc.

I’m part of an endangered species. We used to roam the wide plains of the Midwest and the open spaces of the American Southwest in vast herds. We could be found in thriving clusters throughout New England. Sadly now, we’ve been culled, driven out, and hunted as RhINOs.

I speak, of course, of that ever rarer creature, the publicly-declared moderate Republican. Derided as RhINOs (Republicans In Name Only) or driven into hiding, I know we’re still out there. I also know there are Democrats who don’t believe that everyone who disagrees with them is automatically a hick, racist, or ignorant, and who don’t feel businesses just exist to be blamed, milked, or nationalized.

Those of us in the “radical middle” need to come out of hiding. Modern political conventions hold very little in the way of big surprises or big new ideas, and now that Mitt Romney has announced his running mate, we kinda know how both party conventions will go.

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