By Mark Feldman
The new U.S. tax code creates a significant opportunity for companies to improve lives around the world while simultaneously growing their bottom lines. The reduction in the corporate rate from 35 percent to 22 percent will free up cash that offers the potential for business and social transformation.
Business titans, including Blackrock’s Larry Fink, have already begun to turn up the heat on CEOs around the world pushing them to think differently. In his 2018 annual letter, Fink, who manages $6 trillion of investments in global companies, shares his belief that “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” This is not new thinking in the responsible and sustainable business world, but a monumental moment when expressed by a CEO with such influence – someone who has the teeth to cause huge financial impacts to companies and organizations globally. With Blackrock’s future investment strategy in mind, Fink demands more transparency, tangible proof showing how executives are continuously re-imagining their companies and incorporating new thinking and methodologies system-wide. He directly asks CEOs “what will you do with increased after-tax cash flow, and how will you use it to create long-term value?"
Since the tax cuts extend to companies of all sizes and industries, this is not a question only for the world’s largest and most prominent. It is a challenge for all executive teams. As someone who has spent 25+ years helping companies create and communicate their corporate social impact initiatives, here are four initial pieces of advice to help leaders drive toward effective strategies and greater impact:
Mark Feldman is the Founder and Managing Director of Cause Consulting, a social impact strategy and communications firm dedicated to simultaneously strengthening business and impacting society. email@example.com.
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