HR’s Role in Harnessing CSR

3 Minutes

On Thursday 21st September, Elliott Scott HR held an event in Singapore at LinkedIn’s office...

On Thursday 21st September, Elliott Scott HR held an event in Singapore at LinkedIn’s offices in collaboration with Bridge Partnership (BRIDGE). BRIDGE helps organisations achieve a combination of increased commercial success while becoming an even stronger force for good in the world. This combination they call Purposeful Advantage.

Facilitated by Simon McKenzie (Mac), Managing Director of BRIDGE Asia-Pacific, the event explored how businesses can harness Purposeful Advantage.

In the corporate world, Purposeful Advantage translates to much more than Corporate Social Responsibility – it is smart business. Lifebuoy, Dove, Patagonia and Interface are examples of businesses and brands who are purpose-driven and have produced incredible financial results whilst making the world fairer, safer and more sustainable. Businesses have the power and opportunity to make a difference in the world beyond their bottom line and align their goals to significant causes.

The UN in 2015 launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which articulate well the challenges of our time: eradicating poverty, achieving gender equality, addressing climate change, etc. Without the support of the business community, Mac says, these goals will most likely not be achieved.

As an example, on the subject of climate change, he explained: “The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate estimates the total investment needed to move the world to zero CO2 is US $6 trillion dollars. Global assets under management in the world total over US $100 trillion dollars. This means if we all diverted only 6% of these financial assets towards a zero CO2 world, we could achieve this within 20 years. Governments cannot do this on their own. This provides a remarkable opportunity for the business world.”

This is particularly timely, as Millennials have the ability and will to harness this change and, be a force for good. Purpose-driven Millennials are set to transform the world, as they will account for 75% of the workforce by 2025.

Mac provided some advice on how HR leaders can drive Purposeful Advantage in their organisations.

Develop a Purposeful Advantage strategy:

This is the interface between what your organisation is good at, what the market wants and what society needs. Clearly, developing a Purposeful Advantage strategy requires engagement, resolve and commitment at the very highest levels of the organisation, including the CEO.

Remember that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”:

If you have an amazing strategy but mediocre culture then your organisation’s success can be limited; however, if you have a fantastic culture and mediocre strategy then you can do amazing things. The most powerful cultures are where people feel cared about, find deep meaning in their work and become the best version of themselves.

Develop purpose-led leaders:

Organisations who want to pioneer this path need leaders whose purpose goes far beyond their own self-interest; they need leaders who are brilliant at inspiring the many, are unstoppable in their courage and able to think of infinite ways to solve the complex challenges that they and the world face.

If you are interested in finding out more about this event or any future events, take a look here or contact your Elliott Scott HR consultant.