Leadership

Fierce Resolve and 4 Other Organizational Competencies CSR Leaders Need


Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.

Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

What do you – as a leader – need to be good at, in order to really drive your sustainability or CSR agenda?

That’s the question a colleague and I have been pondering as we draft an academic article about the competencies that an organization and its leaders need to properly embed a CSR /Sustainability agenda for the long-term. The hospitality company we studied has over 50,000 employees and locations all around the world.

The conclusions in our article are primarily based upon interviews with a global hospitality company’s chief CSR officer.

Continue reading →

Becoming a “Full-Brain Thinker”: Why Continuing Education is Important in Leadership Development

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence

Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

I am a left-brain thinker. I love logical, analytical and objective thought processes. It’s probably no surprise that my background is in accounting and finance. Friends and colleagues don’t usually describe me as intuitive, thoughtful or subjective, all right-brain attributes. Yet, is it possible to be a truly effective leader only using one side of your brain?

I believe the answer is no. In today’s world, leaders are required to wear many hats and deal with highly complex issues. Peter Senge, in his book The Fifth Discipline, talks of developing the art of seeing the forest and the trees.

Continue reading →

Strategic Thinking and Change Strategy: Still Relevant?

Art Stewart
Managing Director, Strategic Impact Partners

This post is the second in a multi-part series on some fundamentals regarding leading change. It is edited from a White Paper I authored a few years ago and is offered as a retrospective on how some of our thinking about managing change may, or may not, have evolved.


In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”
– Miyamoto Musashi

If we’re going to rethink the process of bringing about change, then it stands to reason that our approach and our attitudes should also be subject to reappraisal. I suggest that includes strategic thinking. Is what we learned about strategy still applicable in today’s organization environment? Do five- and ten-year road maps make sense when discontinuities are an everyday threat?

The concept of strategy itself has become muddled.

Continue reading →

Leading Responsibly in Response to Change

 

Art Stewart
Managing Director, Strategic Impact Partners

A recovering economy always ushers in new, more complex dynamics as organizations pursue renewed growth opportunities. Various challenges ahead on the global landscape portend change on a scale we have not experienced before. Corporate responsibility practitioners will likely expand their influence with the C-suite as the necessity for perpetual change also demands increased vigilance over the differentiated values that are fundamental to brand equity.

This post is the first in a multi-part series on some fundamentals regarding leading change. It is edited from a White Paper I authored a few years ago and is offered as a retrospective on how some of our thinking about managing change may, or may not, have evolved.

“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain.

Continue reading →

Creating Leaders with the Competencies to Make the World a Better Place


Creating Leaders with the Competencies to Make the World a Better Place
By Amanda MacArthur
Vice President for Global Pro Bono & Engagement, PYXERA Global

“In 1970, the top three skills required by the Fortune 500 were the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1999, the top three skills in demand were teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.” - Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford

This quote comes from a recent article in Wired Magazine “How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses” by Joshua Davis about how elementary education needs to change to better prepare students for the digital age. In today’s world innovation, creativity and independent thinking are as, if not more, important than the traditional knowledge base taught in schools – it’s not just what you know about the world, it’s how you think about the world.

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 →

As More Companies Develop Corporate Responsibility Strategies, Gaps in the Profession Remain

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) today released a breakthrough business report called The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession.  Among the nine different key findings from the research, BCLC and CRA found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) profession.  BCLC and CRA also found that while few of the CR leaders in companies today entered the field deliberately, they have paved the way for “generation 2.0” CR practitioners.

“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed for the past a few decades,” said BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan.  “While the CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession.

Continue reading →

Where CSR Fits On The Board’s Agenda

According to the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) 2011 Public Company Governance Survey, when asked to name the top three issues for the board,only 1.5% of corporate directors picked “Corporate Social Responsibility” among the highest priorities for the board in 2011.

But what counts as corporate responsibility (CR) and when and how should boards and CEOs take an interest in it? 

When we use the term “CR” we define it as maximizing the positive impact while minimizing or eliminating the negative. A closer look at the survey shows that a good chunk of the respondents report a CR issue as among their top three priorities for the board, including risk and crisis oversight (27.1%), shareholder/owner relations (6.4%), and disclosure and transparency (4.7%).  We argue that boards and CEOs need to take a more expansive view of CR and a more active role in CR leadership.

Continue reading →

Attention Washington: Please address the skills crisis, too

In his address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama said, “Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country.  We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that’s made things worse.”Indeed, the evidence abounds.

In recent days, the Labor Department reported that the economy created virtually no net jobs in August—its poorest monthly showing in a year. Unemployment remained stuck at 9.1 percent. The president’s own budget office, in its midyear review, forecast that the jobless rate will persist at 9 percent into next year as well. And just today, the Continue reading →