thestoryofmeaningfuluse

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CSR: New Business Opportunities Through Social Commitment

CSR: New Business Opportunities Through Social Commitment.

Republished from Juan’s – Business with Common Sense

 

 

 

 

by Juan Villamayor

@juanvillamayor41

14/02/2012 at 13:45 Leave a comment

Poster “Don’t stop, come to the Raval”

The recession is hitting Spain very hard. We are reaching an unemployment rate of almost 25% and many small business have to close.

However, there is room for good news and hope too. In Barcelona, several bars and shops located in the district of Raval have started a very nice initiative to offer products and services to unemployed people at lower prices ,with discounts of up to 50%. This initiative takes place on Tuesdays, a traditionally quiet, slow day for business.

These small bars and shops are showing social engagement and, at the same time, they have found a new business opportunity. They are not only attracting customers on a slow day like Tuesdays, they are also revitalizing the neighborhood with their promotion: the street is also more visited the rest of the week. At the end of the day, everybody benefits from it: the businesses, the unemployed people and the neighborhood.

This is a very good example of how SMEs can benefit from CSR in terms of the generation of new business opportunities. Pure shared value creation. Business With Common Sense.

One of the bars offering the promotion
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Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?

Integrating Repair of the Local Economy into Incubation Scenarios for Cleantech or any Sustainable Venture

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

 

 

Jochen Kleef’s editorial, “Global Clean Tech Challenge: Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale” was published in parallel with the start of the Wall Street Protest and Obama’s appointment of Jeffrey Immelt as Job Tsar to the US.

Kleef’s focus in his editorial was on “the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.”

Kleef’s perspective is from his examination of launching an incubator and technology platform in Asia and the intricacies of create investment, commercial success and examining the benefits of localization and culture (Asia versus a global approach, e..g Immelt’s EcoImagination).

What happens when you shift the focus of sustainable business venture strategy to repair of the global or local social fabric?

A little over two weeks ago,  James Schwinn contacted me. James is an economic development adviser, who has a successful career in international capital markets and venture development.

Schwinn has changed the forum in which he works to take a leadership position – along with his partners, John L. Knott, Jr. and Charles Randall – that is focused the reorganization and redevelopment of its capital resources – financial, physical, natural and human – as the essential gateway to building self-sustaining economies and jobs.

The 3 partners created a chain of strategy and action that is taking root in South Carolina, starting in the Noisette Community of North Charleston. While investigating Schwinn’s success with his partners, I figured out very quickly our conversation was much more than a chat or interview. It was a foundation for a generative dialogue, which few people ever engage with.

Generative dialogue is the 4th state of inquiry and rarely begins in the first conversation where the learning forms creates a path of strategy and action. It is a competency exercised by leaders who know how to do more than inspire change.

The partners build the social network architecture based on what the community needs by creating  a geometric scheme of relationships,  where learning forms into patterns of activity that form strategic activity that produces results and change.

In this way, the partners of EcoBank, Network LLC insure results that build repair to a social fabric of a local community that requires a change to return to health – that repairs the environment, local economy, habitat and people’s capacity to live. Introduction to this form of thought leadership

Take 24 minutes to review this presentation, Financing Sustainability; James Schwinn, Presenter at the 2010 Gaining Ground Conference in Vancouver.

I watch this video 4 times.

It did not take me long to realize that this presentation was a context for the development of an accelerated learning lab to serve the incubation and repair of sustainable commercial ventures in a pattern of community interaction with local government and citizen forums that united a view and formed an architecture to repair the social fabric of community.

Whether this is organized in a region of Asia or the United States, there are critical activities that I have always viewed important and missing in the movement of business that describes itself as a Sustainable Venture or Corporate Social Responsible Business that I believe does not integrate responses that repair the social fabric of local community and its economy.

Why has Commercial Business and Incubation Failed to Repair Local Economy?

Commercial business and planning historically has been transactionally driven as an exercisse to manage a spread sheet. This spread sheet is used to monitor a capitlization plan with profit and loss that serves a limited group of stakeholders.

This mechanistic approach is fundamental  reason that the Wall Street investment engine resulting in an extension of the 2008 financial global meltdown sand cycle continuing to this day.

How Can We Break from this Destructive Pattern?

Local to me in Boulder County, Colorado, I began a very female style of networking that has resulted in a preliminary format from which to build a partnership with the DaVinci Institute

This began in what I perceive to be a best form of women’s networking and generative dialogue.  Amanda Johnson, DaVinci Council of Luminaries,  my coaching client, asked to shift her relationship with me so I could partner with her and Deb Frey, V.P.,  DaVinci Institute.  Amanda asked DaVinci’s Vice President, Deb Frey to join us.

DaVinci’s founder, Thomas Frey has followed the tradition of structure and organization of some of the most reputable consulting ventures from a futurist point of view, e.g. my colleague Jonathan Peck, President of Institute of Alternative Futures in Alexandria, Va.

Deb joined her husband Thomas a few years back to manage the firm and has been percolating on a vision to translate the assets and brilliant engagement that Thomas has guided to translate into something more meaningful for the community that is taking form around the DaVinci Institute.

Deb has come to recognize that a critical stage for making this vision real and practical is the requirement that the Institute learn to assess and serve the community need to create a fabric of innovation locally in the Boulder County area. Deb is also very aware that most thought leaders or futurists do not know how to build the capacity to translate vision into action.

Deb has invited my leadership and capacity building talent to work with her and Amanda to build this vision into practical stages of real time development.

DaVinci Institute will be the host for my November 12, 20011 program, Foundations of Portfolio work. Watch for next weeks press release with link to a registration page.

How is This all Helping Me to Change my Focus into More Productive Energy that Implies Progress?

Since arriving in Colorado and working with a few consultants in this community, it has been eating at me how deep our denial is in the US.  My conversations with James Schwinn have validated my intuition.

I am certain this is true in other places, e.g. Asia, as well.  In the fractured economy, commercial business is conducted on a transactional basis.

Companies as shown by the UN Global Compact performance report are continuing even as enlightened leaders of CSR and Sustainability to perpetuate that which is broken and re-enforce the systems that have are obstructing job creation, the building of healthy investments and platforms of economic development.

To build the new infrastructure, we need to repair the health of the environment, people, economy and habitat. But any form of press shows how many people are joining for protest and well intentioned “flittering,” that goes now where.

Where Does the Word Flittering Come From? And What Do We Have to Do to Stop this Pervasive Behavior?

Over coffee with a friend “Samantha Weston”, I learned a new word,“flitter.”

Sam has followed her career in bio-pharm and finance with a new passion for oil painting. She said when the paint splatters all over the place, that is called flittering.

Conditions today for me are like a map of flitter splatters; we have not gotten down to the serious work of change by assessing the needs of the people and children they love to find the resources needed from which to assure stability for themselves and who they care for.

Amanda Johnson, Deb Frey and I have pulled together our work with that view. Schwinn and his partners have had the financial and resources of scale they need to impact and step up to do the job and have the impact they can have.

This is also based on the notion of performing social network analysis  that forecasts  the need of people or the community formation they wish build for economic impact.

For years the transactional approach has obstructed the voice of community need after downsizing and investment harm. Schwinn captured my attention and put sparkle to my eyes when in his presentation he outlined that responsible planning and engagement plans for cycles of progress and cycles of decline.

I know no man that has put into a sentence more of what is natural to women when they care for their families or lead through cycles of change in the community where they live or the vertical commercial venture that employs them.

This was a value core to many of the men who have mentored me; but not often translated into a leadership platform in government, commercial business and the non profit sector by economic core groups of decision makers.

If you are aligned with repairing social fabric of a local community that serves the needs of people, subscribe to this blog and watch for more stories of meaningful use that serves the needs of people for generations moving forward.

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Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

WEAction Research Briefing: George Kell, #ungc 2010 Update

Live from the UN Press conference –


UN Global contact outreach through 6,000 companies over 130 countries. This is a small fraction of companies to impact societal scale change for sustainability.

Goal to increase this outreach through 20,000 companies by the time RIO is launched.

For Immediate Release

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth

Boston MA

Source:  Press Conference Live @ UN Global Compact Press Conference

Written Report:  Press Release fro UNGC

George Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact provide this overview summary and analysis of UNGC progress over 2010.

Of the 6,000 members surveyed,

1. The percentage of UNGC member  corporations bring about change as a result of UNGC engagement is up to 80%.

2. The 6,000 have the power of 25% influence at the front end of issues of the 80,000 total multinational companies.

3.  75% of multinationals are only beginners building awareness.

4.  Ownership form a great influence

  • Public owned companies have 57% of impact;
  • State owned – 32%
  • Private owned – 18%

5. Size matters; Large companies working the issues the most, although within their subsidiaries there is only a 28% implementation.

6. Huge gaps on policies and supported by CEO’s and actual implementation and specific action, corruption, human rights, environmental issues and cuts across all areas of implementations. Awareness is high on material, risk and compliance sides.  Execution and implementation continues with very high gaps.

7. Supply chain continues to be one of the most significant gaps. Details on this at pp. 24-25.

8. Good news in 6,000 participants in survey taking action with NGO”s, MDG’s and 70% increase in concrete actions.

9. Response on environmental issues accelerated.

Projection for the future: UNGC is going strong,

Challenges:   implementation to drive quality.

Priority: Accelerate attention on human rights, corruption and environmental programs for implementation and execution.

Leadership foot print most critical in commercial domains for societal long term goals.

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Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com. As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

Are Employment Traditions a Signficant Obstacle to Sustainable Value?

Part 1 – Designing the next generation of employment.

by Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth

Boston, MA


Last years buzz in social media about jobs in CSR and Sustainability and the prospect of work for graduates of MBA programs was dim.

The news was filled with descriptions of meta system issues and statistics about the state of employment.  I found the basis for most reports perpetuated a view that work equates with a full time job that carries with it benefits. The harsh reality became the number of full  time jobs continues continued to decline.

Related to this harsh reality is the implosion of a  gap between what people want for employment and what they value; and the lack of jobs creation focused on responding to this need.  Most job descriptions and organizations for human capital and talent have not structured to accommodate the social network of engagement inspired by sustainable market leaders.

Is this changing, where and how? Future articles here will look at this question from the view of companies who have formed the new sustainable marketplace.

Do companies  really manage talent? Or are people in the workforce actually learning to self-manage their talent and ongoing development, so when they are employed they provide value and build “a story of meaningful use,” that can be a story capture for their professional portfolio.

You can  give some new thought and build imagination on what is possible by making a  study of a new  position that has grown out of the sustainability movement, the job of Chief Sustainability Officer.  Your study should include a study of the career portfolio of  people, who have earned these positions through their past accomplishments.

How did they get those job? Was it a result of a graduate program, skill development in a technical competence or something more strategic?

Early last year, Aman Singh, Vault.com Editor for CSR, Sustainability and Diversity profiled Kathrin Winkler, EMC’s Chief Sustainability Officer and her View from the Top,

Kathrin works in a company where the agenda for sustainability is very clearly supported by the CEO and entire C-suite and board. Kathrin views the CEO, Joe Tucci as the real instigator and she views her job a person who with a very small team works across the company to embed sustainability agenda and translate that agenda into actual operations, product development and response to all stakeholder needs.

Aman called me after the interview for my opinion about Kathrin Winkler’s performance in the context of how to embed sustainability in a culture during an era of dowsizing.

My key observation about Kathrin’s job at EMC at that time was this:

Kathrin’s skill of engaging the EMC workforce into the vision of sustainability is based on a simple premise: ‘corporate sustainability is really about business survival: Take the long view, or your business won’t survive in a failing global society or environment. Long-term sustainability affects customers, employees, suppliers, neighbors, partners, governmental bodies, and civil society. If we make our business choices based on how we interact with those stakeholders, then we are promoting sustainability.

Since those articles were published, like most journalists in the sustainability space, I follow other Vice Presidents of Sustainability, e.g. Jeffrey Hogue, Danisco and Dave Stangis, Campbells Soup. I had to ask myself what was unique to Kathrin’s success as a sustainability strategist and practice leader based on what I have gotten to know about her this year.

Like me, Kathrin comes out of an era of workforce success turned sour, when she worked for Digital Equipment Corporation. There is something most unique to having worked at Digital; in the years that Digital Equipment thrived, anyone who had success there mastered a form of network unrelated to anything most people practice when searching for a job.

What was unique to Digital is how people leveraged their careers based on their technical expertise to build an audience in network and influence adoption of real practical strategies.  It was unfortunate that the company CEO, Ken Olsen never actually learned how to work in this way.

Olsen’s lack of ability in this way led to a company reduction of 160K employees to fewer than 35K when Digital was merged with Compaq.

Basic to the understanding of working in network, Katherin’s core competence is her capacity as a sense-maker .  As I noted to Aman,

She builds a web of inclusion and outreach based on the value she provides as a sense-maker. She provides us with the perfect example of a corporate citizen who has a form of outreach that is aligned with the principles of the Earth Charter and the Principle of Exercising Precaution to do no harm.

There are still challenges to this format of work emerging to  be a sustainable form of employment. My plan this year is to leverage my research on this trajectory of thought through the student internship program I am now leveraging through this magazine and our future portal development for WorkEcology.com. What I learn will be reflected and linked to this article and formed into a series.

This is a very different than preparing for a career based on job descriptions and how the dominating practices of HR in years past.

Let me  know what you think of this line of thought as a reader. Our editorial board really would like to hear from our readers to build a relevant series of articles that makes a difference.

Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com. As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.