Author: Henk Campher
I know you are going to be flooded and fooled by a million pieces of cool new trends for 2015. Yawn … How about trends we want to see the end of in 2015?
Let’s go back to the beginning of almost every company that exists today: You can find a clear social mission at the heart of why they started as a business. And then so many lost their way.
I’ve worked with many companies on stakeholder engagement and help many of them understand activists and activist campaigning — and they are as guilty of getting it wrong as the activists themselves. No, I take that back. They get it wrong more often than activists. Let me share one thing that every company consistently gets wrong: Activists do it for the money.
Activists play a crucial role in society. However, we do need to call them out when we smell something wrong. And there is one major lie that always gets to me when I hear it. The “let’s engage” lie. No, you don’t really want to engage.
We’ve seen trust in business continue to drop radically. Yes, it seems unfair that business gets targeted, but is it really that unfair? Do business show true leadership on these issues, or do they dance around the tough challenges?
It seems every day there is a new set of rankings, ratings and awards that tell us which company just passed sliced bread as the best sustainable thing ever. Better than the real thing. Better than all the rest. Simply the best.
The myth of the “free market”… So often business and its sidekick the business association use the free market as their defense against any threat of government regulations or anyone talking about the need for companies to focus a wee bit on sustainability or CSR or, the hot new favorite, shared value. Please, the concept of the “free market” is as big a lie as the urban myth that Mr. Rogers was a Navy Seal.