Social good – the defining DNA of a business
Reputation has always been as much about what you do as what you say. Whilst previous decades showcased the business sector’s core social contract as being a good employer and cash converter, today responsibility goes much further. Businesses are expected to be nothing short of honest and decent with the social good as a core concern. Recent evidence is strong in showing how cash corrupts and the pursuit of wealth above all else is socially unsustainable and quite frankly unfashionable. Culture is shifting in favour of correcting the moral imbalance and business is in the driving seat to lead the change.
The age of “conscious capitalism” is upon us. It was perhaps not until mainstream society witnessed morality in public life take an apparent nose dive (as typified by recent banking sector crisis) that we really started to see business values have renewed meaning and purpose. Whilst every good corporate entity may have spent time defining a mission statement and core values, the unique political and social environment that exists today is making sure those values are the beating heart and agile brain of smart organisational strategy.
Consequently, the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) now has the potential to go way beyond being a siloed concern or ticking a policy checklist. Big businesses recognise the benefits of expanding CSR practice into organisational strategy and a whole new group of values-focused, socially-minded business start-ups are emerging with the social good as their defining DNA.
Being relevant, competitive and respected today is intrinsically linked to an organisation’s ability to be market orientated, connected and engaged with stakeholder audiences and customers. The internet is shaping corporate culture, demanding responsible business practice across all aspects of society. Social media is the tool that champions transparency and trust, provides real-time customer feedback and is the key to building community and brand equity – its importance will continue to evolve exponentially.
The notion of responsible, social business should no longer be the sole endeavour of CSR specialists or marketing departments. Core values need to stand up to the truth test of today’s savvy customers and really mean something. Not just in terms of what a business says but what it actually does.
Guesting blog post by Sarah Ogden, Associate Director, 3 Monkeys Communications