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Many companies often show their generosity with different philanthropic activities; however, in recent times, either because they are perceived as opaque or prove to be inauthentic, they are permanently criticized.

Somehow, what I’ve mentioned above suggests that money is not enough. These companies which assume that by way of philanthropy they will both promote social change and improve their image, and even its reputation, begin to discover that they accomplish little or nothing.

The opportunity begins to appear when, genuinely, what is sought is a transformational change through community strategic investments that achieve economic, social and environmental results.

In practical terms, it is not giving less, but applying the resources better.

The companies that are already doing this, base and promote their businesses on values shared with people beyond the relationship they’ve already established.

Forget about the values that you have written on the wall of your boardroom and focus on those few that result in observable and measurable behaviours.

There are companies that, for example, are inviting their staff to use their unique abilities to promote social change through the investment in time applied to pro bono projects.

To achieve truly transformative change, companies must integrate this long-term social impact approach in all aspects of their businesses. And this is not a question of size but of conscience.

These are complex decisions which usually, in the short term, may have a negative impact on results, however, consistency with this kind of commitment and authenticity in the way we think, say and do, finally pay off.

An overwhelmingly positive brand vison is generated and allows the company to grow in value and improve its revenue, basically because people will be willing to pay a premium price associated with those responsible actions and, at the same time, punish companies that only pretend to be genuine in what they do.

Let me insist, do not tell stories, build them from facts.

Obviously, there are business reasons for the integration of a values-driven company strategy. For this, the first step is to ensure that a company lives up to its values, in an ethical manner in all facets of the business, and uses their skills to make the difference.

Understood in this way, from corporate responsibility we are evolving towards a business with a social brand that even, when decisions to do good are made, there is not an obvious business result associated.

It is a long-term pledge to build an ethical company with dedicated employees, customers and shareholders with the confidence that the company lives certain principles. These are people who beyond their loyalty, believe in the company, even if it means a short-term extra cost.

Cristian Saracco
Founding Partner at Allegro 234
• Member, The Medinge Group
• Board Member, aebrand
• Associate Professor, Loyola Leadership School
• Guest Speaker, ESADE
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