Monday, July 27, 2009

Linking Social + Business Value

attaining sustainable growth IBM cover There’s now ample evidence that corporations can “do well by doing good,” according to a fascinating IBM white paper, “Attaining Sustainable Growth through Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Based on a survey of 250 business leaders worldwide, the paper reveals that, while businesses tend to describe corporate social responsibility (CSR) as philanthropy, they’re much more strategic in their actual behaviors … to the extent that 68 percent of executives are currently utilizing CSR as a growth strategy. Even more telling, more than half (54%) of those surveyed believe that their companies’ CSR activities are already giving them an advantage over their top competitors.

So, how do you develop the most productive CSR strategy? One way, say the authors of the IBM white paper, is to view your company’s current objectives and activities against the CSR Value Curve (see below), which places CSR on a continuum — from a simple risk mitigation strategy to a platform that generates new products, partnerships, markets and revenues.

CSR Value curve from IBM report Moreover, a company derives the maximum benefit from its CSR activities when all the elements of the CSR Value Curve are integrated into a single strategy, with leadership from the top managers and full engagement by employees, business partners and customers, IBM reports.

The real challenge, as I see it, is finding the right strategic alignment with philanthropy. Public relations can help. Finding and forging those connections is at the heart of our business.

Technorati Tags: Makovsky + Company, IBM, Sustainable Growth, Corporate Social Responsibility, business, public relations


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