Employee Engagement Rules! Why Employees Are the Best Force for Change

Last week I delivered a presentation on BT’s Better Future programme at Georgetown University. My thanks to my friend and colleague Harriet Hentges who invited me in!   As always, I found it invigorating to present to a class of students, particularly students with experience under their belts.   The questions and comments that came during the session were challenging and thought provoking.    But I was sent an email from one of the students after the event that made me stop and think through where I should focus my efforts in order to best effect change.

As I see it, sustainable behavior …

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Returns, Jobs or Charity – What is a Corporation’s Responsibility

The recent debate around Mitt Romney and the role of Bain Capital in job losses has created an important line in the sand for corporate responsibility. Steve Rattner, former ‘Car Czar’ for the Obama Administration, defended Romney in an important statement on TV. He said,

“Bain Capital’s responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number, it was to make profits for its investors, most of whom were pension funds, endowments and foundations and it did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly and was a leading firm”

The important argument that Rattner makes here is …

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Facing Similar Challenges in Business and Local Government

Earlier this month I attended a workshop at Verge DC to discuss the recent Citystates paper by SustainAbility and GreenBiz and sponsored by Ford.

It was a fascinating discussion, including a number of city sustainability practitioners from across in the wider DC metropolitan area.

What struck me the most were the similarities between the challenges faced by city managers and the challenges faced in business.  Here are a few examples:

1)      Short term thinking.  Some of the city representatives referred to the challenges of planning cycles that, at best, align with the time between elections.  Of course we have similar …

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Corporate Responsibility and Supporting the Military – A foot in both camps?

A couple of weeks back I received a request from an SRI to confirm whether any of our products and services supported military activity related to weapons delivery. Some SRIs, or specific funds within them, rule out investing in companies that have military involvement as a service for investors who want to avoid investing in such activities.

At a meeting later that same day, one of the topics discussed amongst the companies present was corporate philanthropic support for services to the members of the armed forces. Many in the general public are very supportive of companies that support our people …

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A Look Back at CSR in 2010

At the beginning of 2010 (feels like last week doesn’t it ), I wrote a post on what I thought I would be writing about during the year.  I just reviewed it. My performance against my anticipated topics was mixed!

Regaining Trust – I focused on this in the early part of the year, helped by the opportunity I had to deliver the keynote at the PR News CSR awards, where trust and authenticity were my main theme. It is interesting to observe the ebb and flow of public interest in the theme. However, although I think trust as …

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Seeking feedback…read our sustainability review.

I have started work with others in BT on our annual sustainability report for 2011. The process takes  almost a full year.

I am especially interested in the summary document we produce, called our 2010 Sustainability Review. Click on the picture of the cover above to download a PDF of the document.

I struggle with this document: should it be long or short, a reference document or marketing promotional, comprehensive or a bird’s eye view?

Right now I am pretty sure that not enough people are reading our 2010 Sustainability Review, let alone tell us what they think of it. 
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