In a short and informative video by HBR’s Ideacast team, Nancy Koehn explains how socially responsible businesses date back to capitalism’s founding era, and highlights what we can learn from them.
A Company’s Social Footprint is Related to a Company’s Financial Footprint
The better companies are for people and planet, the better they do, in the short and long runs. In order to make your social impact work for your bottom line, your organization needs to do two things:
- Be able to measure and understand its social and environmental footprint.
- Share the good, bad, and ugly with all stakeholders – employees, partners, shareholders, etc.,
When it Comes to Leading Responsibility Efforts, the Leader is Everything
Lots of businessmen push for financial returns, but the best leaders push harder for companies that actually mean something. They create sustainable, high-impact companies that are good for people and planets, not just profits. In order for organizations to do well be doing good, the leader has to fully embrace social responsibility, and commit to removing obstacles to make an impact. All organizations leading the way with triple bottom lines have outspoken leaders who are committed to making a difference; from Josiah Wedgwood in the mid 1700’s to Yvon Chouinard today.
Whether you are starting a new company or slowly transforming an existing one, strong leadership and effective reporting are two keys to success.