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The growing implications for business practices and government regulations in the wake of the rising data tsunami sweeping the globe was the topic of concern during this month's prestigious Churchill Club gathering.
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It seems incredibly naïve to think that a profit-dependent, commercial venture is the final bastion of democratic values. Yet, in an age when companies are capitalizing on social responsibility, are brands unwittingly turning themselves into moral pedestals?
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Given that one third of the planet is thinking about "guilt free consumption" any company that fails to address these three areas is missing out on a huge competitive advantage. A wise company will ask themselves how their products are adversely affecting people, nature and the planet and develop initiatives to reduce these effects.
Make conscious efforts to show consumers the good things you are doing. Demonstrate in tangible ways that your company is committed to doing good in the world. For example, if you're in the food service industry, don't automatically put a straw in a customer's drink.
One year ago this week, a girl named Tahmina went to work. That morning, the Rana Plaza factory where Tahmina worked collapsed. She survived, but her supervisor and over 1,100 other workers were killed in one of the worst industrial disasters in history. We all want to know what we can do -- individually and collectively -- to prevent a future tragedy.
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, only charities could celebrate positive impact on society. Is it really that difficult to spot that magic spot where social and financial profit intersect? Based on first-hand experience I would say it's not -- in fact there are plenty of other obvious examples all around us.
We fuelled a belief in our capitalist society that you can't make a profit without harming the world -- and that the only people who can do good for our world don't make a profit. "Giving back" has become one of the most fashionable lines -- as if to imply that we really must have stolen something as we were making a profit!
Progressive CEOs need to apply their corporate muscle effectively, and that means challenging those businesses preventing a timely transition to the sustainable economy.
Could it be that our world-leading national politeness and gentleness is actually holding us back a bit from stretching our minds and our capabilities? How do we find a way to stay nice and play to win at the same time?