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, Medinge Group
• President, AEBrand
• Associate Professor, Loyola Leadership School

3 Comments

  • Avatar Ed says:

    Hi Cristian – I wrote this whole thing (below) on LI, but then I think it disappeared, but wanted you to know I’d read your post and what some of my thoughts were 🙂 Here it is:

    You are touching on a number of key issues here Cristian which all deserve significant discussion. Authenticity of actions and conscience, courage of leadership to care about more than the bottom line, belief in the corporate benefit of social good, PURPOSE 🙂 ….. Thank you for talking about these – they are important.
    I believe everyone has “good” in their heart – if only they would bring it to work more often and let it shine, then companies and brands would be the way to where you believe they should be.
    Bravo! Wonderful focus for you and Allegro 234

  • Finally, after almost 20 rock & roll days, I sit down in front of my PC to read posts and comments!

    Again (as I mentioned on LI),thank you very much Ed!…

    After a period of huge and deep reflexion, we arrived to the conclusion of beginning to walk the talk and make explicit what we have been doing during the last 10 years.

    You will hear (I hope) several good news from our side during the next couple of months!

    Cheers!

    • Avatar Ed says:

      We are starting a journey also … to be realized by mid 2016.
      I’ll look forward to watching your progress!
      Congratulations!!

Leave a Reply