The world has changed. It's no longer a choice between making money and doing good. Today's businesses also have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. A business can be both profitable and purpose or mission-driven, as it gives back to society in multiple ways.
While most companies are focused on the extrinsic motivation of making money to expand their operations and satisfy shareholders, businesses are now starting to shift toward a more intrinsic motivation — a sense of purpose. Specifically, many are trying to fulfil a higher calling by providing value to customers and the world at large.
As many businesses consider the value of cultivating a socially-conscious business model, there are questions of how financially sustainable it is to dedicate resources and employee energy to doing good in the world. The short answer: it's very sustainable, if it's done right.
Some may argue that this is not a responsibility of businesses, but here at 10K60 we disagree. More and more, consumers expect businesses to be a force for social good — and companies are responding with innovations that benefit the environment and people in need. In fact, some of these ventures are not only sustainable from financial standpoints, but also yield a profit.
Businesses can no longer do business as usual. The threat of a pandemic has changed how brands must operate on a fundamental level. With this new climate, businesses have a greater responsibility for the safety of their consumers than ever before. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved to reflect this shift — and businesses have never been more responsible.
CSR today is a big deal: companies are focusing on diversity, inclusion, education, and the environment. Corporate social responsibility efforts — such as sustainable product sourcing, philanthropic endeavours, and socially-aware financial investments — are becoming recognised as a part of the core business model.
Let’s take a look at the world of CSR through its history, what it looks like today, and how that might change in the future;
The roots of corporate social responsibility can be traced back to the industrial revolution in the 1830s-1900s. During this time, rapid advances in technology and a wave of innovation displaced established social norms and behaviours.
The late 19th and early 20th century are often seen as a period of corporate irresponsibility. While this era did produce mass worker exploitation, unsafe working conditions, and excessive pollution, it also gave birth to a whole new breed of business leaders who were determined to make the world a better place.
After World War II, corporations had to change their model. Workers unions were on the rise, and the threat of communism loomed over many countries. People generally were uneasy about the growing influence large businesses had on governments and societies around the world — and there was considerable pressure to start acting as a social force for good.
In the 21st century, a significant shift has occurred in the way businesses view their role in society. A growing body of research illustrates that a company's social and environmental impact, good or bad, is directly linked to its financial success. Today's customers tend to show greater loyalty to companies that do good in their community.
In 2013, the Indian government became the first in the world to require companies to report on their social and environmental impacts. Later that year, the European Union took a similar step, requiring many of its member states to produce annual reports outlining their social and environmental performance.
In 2019, 181 CEOs of some of the world’s wealthiest companies, including Apple, Amazon, and Citigroup, stated their intent to work in the best interests of customers, employees, and society — not just shareholders.
Businesses that want to stand out from the crowd need to learn how to tell their unique selling points (USP) in an engaging, enticing way — one that captures the attention of target audiences and keeps them coming back for more. By focusing on what makes a business unique and how it can make customers' lives easier, clients can effectively convey their value proposition and appeal to potential clients.
When a purpose is infused into your brand, you're able to build a meaningful relationship with your customers. Something intangible but deeply significant happens: people start to care about you and what you stand for. Some of the advantages;
It doesn't take a pandemic for businesses to become aware that they're part of society. Social responsibility is becoming a core value — and it's one that will define the most successful companies of the future. Here we'll take a look at the fundamental steps businesses should take to become a force for good;
Business leaders are at the forefront of great change. By putting purpose first and approaching profits as a by product, executives can lead their organisations to greater creativity and innovation. Businesses that balance social responsibility with financial goals are not only well-positioned to make a positive impact on the world, but also meet the needs of shareholders, investors, customers, and society at large.