Corporate Social Responsibility
As members of the Association for Talent Development and the performance improvement community, there is one attribute that we all share and that is systems thinking. Our approach considers the whole as the sum of many parts. We see organizations as living, changing complex organisms where little occurs in isolation. Many organizations and institutions are stepping back further to view the systems within which they operate -- broadening their definition of “stakeholder” geographically, economically, politically, and socially to develop long-term relationships that support sustainable environments and communities by addressing critical social, technological, and economic issues.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) “is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.” (UNIDO, 2014). Despite, the tension between business and environmental resources and the uncertainty of public value creation, a growing number of companies are benefiting from CSR strategies. Research reveals the benefits of engaging employees and stakeholders. Younger generations are more likely to work for companies that are socially conscience. One-third of adults practice consumer activism choosing to purchase and support industries and companies that operate responsibly toward their workforce and environment. Harvard Business School published a paper in 2012 outlining three theaters of CSR practice: philanthropic giving, reengineering the value chain, and transforming the ecosystem. Click here for a brief Q&A with Mark Delisi, Sr. Director of Sustainability, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
The third of the four tenet is conscious leadership of which there are 13 qualities. This is an easy, fun read. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested is socially responsible leadership - Laurie Carrigan
CSR and Leadership Development
CSR initiatives provide great opportunities for organizations to provide emerging leaders with new complex problems and challenges that provoke self and leadership development. Businesses can reach out to community organizations and assist them in a variety of long or short term projects such as reaching a goal or reengineering their service delivery. Employees are provided opportunities to influence others, reframe the problem, develop and execute a plan to gain experience and feedback. In 2009, the Center for Creative Leadership published an annotated collection of research and resources as a guide for CSR leadership task and functions. Based on their research, it is recommended to blend leadership styles among responsibility, visioning, and charisma in order to meet the challenge of merging divergent interests among diverse stakeholders within an uncertain environment.