Moving Beyond CSR to Rethinking Capitalism
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) has been the talk for the past several years in the business world. In this insightful video interview of Dr. Michael E. Porter, one of my favorite economist and business strategist, he explains why business leaders must focus on shared value – creating products and services that benefit not only the company but also society.
Dr. Porter stresses the importance of companies not looking at improving society as only the by-product of their charity, but rather, as a core drive and value for their company. In his opinion (which I agree with), the two worlds of business and charity have unnecessarily separated from one another. Dr. Porter emphasizes the importance of companies not viewing charity as something that you volunteer at on the weekend with your employees. It’s more than just CSR.
Dr. Porter provides a great example from our engagement with fair trade in this video. He states that we must move past giving just a fair wage to a farmer and intentionally move towards providing better training, access to self-sustaining resources and logistical systems to get higher products to market, and improving profitability. Why settle for 20% increase in profitability when given access to the right help and systems, farmers achieve 10x’s more while producing better products?
Dr. Porter’s thoughts are challenging and gives us a glimpse in our ever-changing world market. I personally feel he captures much of the conversation we hope to have at Ideation Conference this year in March.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.