Today to succeed as a socially responsible and innovative leader, more than ever we need to break from the past and the norms. In fact, we need to step-up and step in, instead of step-out, step aside or step down! The key is to engage, champion, and collaborate with as highly diverse a group of people as possible. Why? That is a secret sauce in solving the most complex issues, creating astonishing, innovative solutions, and building the workforce of the 21st century.
On my journey as a creative and socially responsible, passionate consultant, I run into a broad range of leaders that are trying to contribute actively to innovation-spurring discussions. These events and working groups are aiming to develop corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Fostering impactful and lasting learning by doing, rather than only listening, and following directions is an excellent start in developing CSR. It is exciting to see the magic unfold from minute to minute while brain sparks are flying and feeding off each other during the collaborative sessions.
You must be wondering how this applies to you and your working environment? The fact is: regardless of your title and role within the organisation, as a leader; you can always challenge the status quo and cultivate creativity, ultimately leading to innovation and an improved social footprint. The key is that majority of the local effort has major global implications, and vice versa, that indeed requires a “glocal” mindset that you can cultivate in your organization and teams.
The following eight steps define the how and why:
- Cultivating Sustainable Business – Generate innovative, voluntary action that clearly demonstrate the inclusion of social and environmental concerns not only in conversations with stakeholders but also in the business operations in the organisation. Starbucks is a perfect example of the sustainable glocal business.
“ Companies should not have a singular view of profitability. There needs to be a balance between commerce and social responsibility... The companies that are authentic about it will wind up as the companies that make more money." ~ Howard Schulz
- Defining Corporate Identity and Ethics – It is essential to reflect the breadth of what company it is intended to be and stand for, instead of what company might represent or advocate. For many companies today, the corporate identity is established through great branding that is reflecting the key company social values and responsibility.
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evaluation. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. ” ~ Thomas A. Edison
- Solving Organisational Challenges and Limitations – Profiting from glocal complexities demands quick, creative and practical leadership solutions solving internal political issues or organisational concerns such as blurred boundaries and corruption that may negatively affect the business image.
“ The achievements of an organisation are the results of the combined effort of each individual. ” ~ Vince Lomabardi
- Integrating Leadership Capabilities and Competencies –
- ! The best part, when leadership capabilities and competencies are coupled with true planetary focused leadership decisions, combined they are positively affecting not only economies but also societies through innovative solutions.
- Partnering with Stakeholders – Develop innovative, value-driven solutions with stakeholder engagement and communication. The key is to establish mutual understanding of the relationship and partnership of everyone involved. This is where innovation is the handy tool in the toolbox to develop and drive a collaborative framework ultimately to lead to the desired outcome – win-win success.
“Helping convene global stakeholder to establish a set of measurable, accountable and consensus-built goals focused on extreme poverty is invaluable ” ~ Bill Gates
- Driving Ongoing Commitment and Accountability – Go beyond economic self –interest alone. Focusing on moral and ethical implications in addition to the overall social responsibility in the glocal communities will drive long-term business success. The magic happens when organisations start to align the demands, needs, interests and values of their employees, customers, stakeholders, vendors, the environment and glocal communities.
“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” - Vince Lombardi
- Developing Social Innovation – Plan to have a tremendous impact, scale, and longevity! To accomplish the successful social innovation model, you will need to create new products or processes to drive profound change behaviors, cultures, beliefs or basic routines. Further, social change improves substantially organisational equity, productivity and resilience through newly redefined power dynamics.
“Poverty is not only a lack of money, it's a lack of sense of meaning.” ~ David Bornstein
- Integrating Corporate Innovation – By expanding in new glocal markets while fueling innovative breakthrough changes you will allow the corporation to improve business operations while achieving environmental and social benefits in addition to monetary value.
You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Unknown