Back in the day, corporate strategy meant defining a business mission and describing how those goals were to be reached through business practices. Today, setting a viable strategy means including many factors once considered outside the scope of traditional business planning. Brands are taking stands on multiple issues, from public, cultural questions (climate change, immigration, gun violence) to internal issues (diversity, ethics, harassment, gender pay gap).
Consider the new rules:
In the past, “The CEO rule was basically keep your head down, stay out of complicated issues, because there were opinions on both sides of any issue,” Lawrence Parnell, program director at the Strategic Public Relations Program at George Washington University told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s no longer a question of if, but where, when and how to engage on these issues and what type of topics to engage on. These are new challenges and things CEOs and boards never had to deal with before, so they are struggling.”
In sum, corporate responsibility is now becoming a mainstream activity embedded throughout every department of a company, from HR to IR, from corporate affairs to procurement. The bottom line is straightforward: evaluation of a company’s value now depends more than ever on its values being active and visible across all areas.
So here’s the new bottom line: businesses and organizations must adopt the largest perspective possible when planning for future growth.
Originally published on Brands Taking Stands
John Howell, Chief of Thought Leadership and Editorial Director, is a co-founder of 3BL Media, the parent company of Triple Pundit, begun in 2009. Howell oversees original editorial content procurement and creation. He is also the author of the weekly Brands Taking Stands Newsletter. He has written and edited for Elle, Artforum, High Times, the New York Times Magazine, and the LA Times. Howell is based in Wonalancet, NH.