CSR Research Digest – July 2012
The joint report by Ashridge Business School and IBLF identifies a range of examples where helping addressing major societal challenges goes hand-in-hand with successful business practice. It is based on a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives such as Sir Stuart Rose, former CEO and Executive Chairman of Marks & Spencer, Neville Isdell, former Chairman & CEO of The Coca Cola Company and others.
- Business leaders are increasingly aligning their core business to serve not only customers, but also the interests of wider society.
- More business leaders are paying attention to social and environmental issues that have conventionally been the territory of political leaders and NGO activists.
- Senior executives increasingly recognise that ‘smart’, ‘inclusive’ and ‘responsible’ business growth is fundamental long-term value creation.
- Not only do business leaders need to lead significant cultural change within their businesses, but they now need to increasingly work with others to play a leadership role beyond conventional business boundaries.
- Senior executives now need to develop skills in areas that have not previously been a conventional part of the business leader’s repertoire
- To achieve this, executives must lead significant cultural change.
- They must also play a leadership role beyond conventional business boundaries and engage with increasingly diverse stakeholders.
- Younger people in the organisation often ‘get’ the sustainability agenda and it is often the people at the top who are slower to change.
- It is the CEO’s job to keep up the drumbeat and unleash the energy and power of the organization.
- It is crucial for business leaders to set ambitious targets and to be prepared to put their heads above the parapet.
- Despite the risks, they must set a course of action and stick to it.
- It is critically important for businesses to build trust with consumers and society by acting with integrity and delivering value to society.
Ashridge Business School and IBLF