Corporate Culture

Does Your Organization Need a High Level External Affairs Officer?

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

On the day I wrote this, I looked at the Wall Street Journal and found stories about net neutrality and the regulation of saturated fat. What do these stories have in common? In both cases, social issues are intertwined with political, legal and regulatory agendas. As a result, companies today must manage not only customers and product creation, but also to stakeholders within the social and political arenas.

A recent article in Organizational Dynamics by J.Doh, et al., states:

Companies increasingly face concurrent and sometimes coordinated pressures from governmental and civil society stakeholders within the ‘nonmarket’ (political and social) environments in which they operate.

Continue reading →

Is There a Role for CROs in the Employee Benefits Realm?

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

Last year, I was asked to be a judge for the 2013 Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security contest, co-sponsored by The Build Network. This experience got me thinking about the role of the Chief Responsibility Officer in an organization’s selection and implementation of employee benefits.

Normally, this role falls on the Chief HR Officer. CROs often focus their attention towards areas such as organizational ethics, supply chain sustainability, corporate citizenship in the community and responsible behavior measurement.

Continue reading →

Practicing Citizenship: Being Essential to the Community and IBM

Doris B. González
Director of Corporate Citizenship
IBM Corporation

Though it first emerged in the 1960s, the field of corporate citizenship or corporate responsibility began to get mainstream acceptance in the 1990s as the “new big idea in the business world.” Over the years, corporate citizenship has continued to evolve and mature into a field with great career opportunities, representing the face – and heart – of a company.

At IBM, social responsibility has been built into the very fabric of the company since it was founded more than a century ago.

Continue reading →

Looking for Quick Corporate Responsibility “Wins” in 2014?

Looking for Quick Corporate Responsibility “Wins” in 2014?
By Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, RSC Bio Solutions
 

As 2014 dawns, many companies are looking to implement the next steps in their corporate responsibility plans. For some, these may even be the first steps in such responsibility or sustainability efforts.

Demonstrating progress both internally and externally can be an important tactic, helping galvanize internal support and communicating the company’s desire and plans for continued improvement and responsibility to its various stakeholders. The ability of a company to actively engage in CSR activities and publicly communicate those activities can have an impact on the company’s brand and overall business.

Continue reading →

How Companies Can Think Differently about #GivingTuesday

 


How Companies Can Think Differently about #GivingTuesday

By Doug Balfour, CEO of Geneva Global

Tuesday, December 3 marks the second annual #GivingTuesday, a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

While much of the day’s focus draws attention to the nonprofit community, it provides an opportunity to reflect on the role that companies can and do play in creating transformational social change.

As members of the CRA, we can appreciate that CSR efforts improve our communities, create a more engaged and diverse workforce, and minimize the strain on our planet. As CEO of a company that helps firms think through and implement their CSR and philanthropic programs in developing countries, I’m pleased to see more companies undertaking CSR efforts and evolving their programs to be more strategic, transparent, and results-oriented.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

The Truth Will Out: CSR is a Profession

The following guest post is part of a CSRHub series focusing on 10 trends that are driving corporate transparency and disclosure in the coming year.

How many US companies do you think have positions that include the word “sustainability” in their job title? Would you guess 100? 1,000? According to ZoomInfo, the answer is 12,660 This statistic proves that sustainability jobs exist, but does not necessarily prove that there is an established career path within the sustainability profession.

Almost every time we speak at a conference or seminar, at least one young person will come up afterwards to ask if we can help them find a career opportunity in sustainability.

Continue reading →

Making the “Body Corporate” Healthy Starts with Employees

CSC—Computer Sciences Corporation—just announced that it had been awarded Gold Level Achievement in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2012 Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition program. I wanted to immediately congratulate CSC on the achievement. Then I wondered, why is this award special? Why aren’t all companies at a gold level for this kind of achievement in promoting their employees’ health?
One of the most clearly defined areas of crossover between corporate responsibility and other departments of any big business is the intersection between corporate responsibility and human resources. Employee health and wellness should be at the core of any executive leadership agenda.

Continue reading →

Corporate Sustainability Is Itself Unsustainable

I love my iPad...or at least I love it whenever my two-year old lets me use it.  He's what Marc Prensky calls a "digital native".  For him, the world has always included tablet computers, on-demand television, and the Internet.  


In much the same way that he lives and breathes technology like it’s a part of him, we're seeing the rise of a generation of "sustainability natives".

Continue reading →