Business Ethics

Good job– now back to work

CEO Lamberto Andreotti on integrity, overcoming setbacks—and what to do after successful missions

By Elliot Clark

This was not the first time I had been to Bristol Myers Squibb. In fact, nearly 20 years ago had been my first visit. In those days, I was there to provide executive search and other HR related services. At that time, as I recall, I had met a group of dedicated, earnest professionals excited to be extending life, offering cures and improving the quality of care. When I visited their corporate offices in New York this past summer, I found the same commitment was still a cornerstone of the company’s self-image.

In addition, I found a company that had thrice in the past five years been in the top five of the CR Magazine 100 Best Corporate Citizens List and twice the top ranked company. We wanted to understand how this company has performed so well on our ranking as well as other rankings in their industry and in the areas of corporate responsibility.

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Leadership by adaptation

Leadership by adaptation

When projects require quick decision-making in the field...

Semiconductor chip-maker Intel Corporation wants to develop its employees’ leadership skills, and finds (like all organizations) that not everyone has the opportunity to lead during their workday. One way to develop those skills is to give workers an opportunity to cultivate skills outside of work, though volunteerism programs.

And volunteerism is popular: About 40 percent of employees participate in some kind of program. For example, volunteer teams have accomplished the following:

  • Applied six-sigma manufacturing techniques to a food bank, boosting productivity sixfold.
  • Sent teams to help clean out a transitional shelter for battered women—a project that was extended to creating a long-term strategic plan to help women develop job skills in the shelter they could use to support themselves later.

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CEO’s Letter: The Two Towers

CEO's Letter: The Two Towers

By Elliot H. Clark

No, in the headline, I am not revisiting the Tolkien trilogy in our philosophical analysis of the corporate responsibility world (but remember the little guys win in that story, so it is inspirational). I propose and we will highlight two important components of the corporate responsibility world at our upcoming COMMIT!ForumTM in New York, October 8-9. These two towers are the “sustainable workforce” and the “responsible supply chain.” And, yes, we would argue that they are linked.

First, the sustainable workforce is a complex thing to describe. To view the workforce from the perspective of sustainability, you have to look at not only the functioning of the current workforce, but the foundations of the workforce of the future.

This futuristic aspect brings in a lot of different perspectives.

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Looking Up

Saatchi & Saatchi S’s CEO Annie Longsworth on green-muting, finding purpose, and making sustainability irresistible

By Bill Hatton

Saatchi & Saatchi S is the sustainability arm of the global advertising agency. Founded in 2007 when Saatchi & Saatchi acquired Adam Werbach’s Act Now Productions, Saatchi & Saatchi S provides sustainability strategy, engagement and communication services, as well as traditional PR functions such as article placement and social media. Its clients include some of the largest global companies and pioneers in sustainability, including Walmart, The Coca-Cola Company and AT&T. CEO Annie Longsworth recently sat down with CR Magazine to dig deeper into issues of sustainability, communications and purpose. She is planning to speak at our magazine’s annual event, the COMMIT!Forum, in October.

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Can you manage supplier impacts?

New ways some organizations are finding effective

By Mike Wallace

Supply chains are increasingly being seen as the low hanging fruit of sustainability. That’s why most of the largest companies in the world are already enhancing their Supplier Codes of Conduct (SCOC) and sharing amazing stories about how they have required all their suppliers to “do something” with regard to sustainability. While this is all great news for our mutual sustainability efforts as a whole, there are tremendous inefficiencies that are being uncovered in supply chains and a new recognition of where one can achieve the most impact.

When the idea of sustainability first came about, it was mostly focused on a company’s direct impacts and their efforts to manage these impacts. But over the last five years or so, the discussion has evolved from direct impacts to indirect impacts – more specifically, supply chain impacts.

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Want an Ethical Company?

Keys for Fostering an Ethical Culture

By Anne R. Harris

Let’s assume you were appointed to Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer (CECO) at your company a year ago. The CEO directed you to minimize risk by embedding integrity in the business, and you’ve worked diligently to implement an Ethics & Compliance (E&C) program. You’ve established a variety of program elements: risk assessments; a Code of Conduct; policies and procedures; E&C representatives; training and awareness communications; a confidential Helpline; and processes for monitoring, auditing and continuous improvement. Finally, you completed your first self-audit report for the CEO and concluded that a comprehensive E&C program is in place.

Can you now congratulate yourself, assured that your program works effectively? Not yet. Each of those program elements is important, but for meaningful impact you also need to create a strong ethical culture.

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5 years after financial meltdown: What still hasn’t changed?

Too big to fail becomes too big to regulate

By Larry Doyle

Excerpt is from In Bed with Wall Street by Larry Doyle. Copyright © 2014 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Dodd Frank also gives regulators a variety of mechanisms they can use to channel political policy through the dominant institutions. The partnership works in both directions: special treatment for the Wall Street giants, new political policy levers for the government.

—David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences.

After 2008, the number of brokerage houses on Wall Street significantly diminished. No longer did the names Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Countrywide, Washington Mutual, and Merrill Lynch represent single- standing entities.

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Restoring corporate trust: 4 strategies

... and which C-level leader can best execute each one

By Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP

Corporate structure dictates the creation of a C-suite of executive staff on whom the CEO counts every day to handle specific issues and keep him or her informed. Corporate societal engagement (CSE) professionals can help expand these traditional senior leadership-CEO relationships to include community investment in their reporting and strategic planning. Societal engagement can be a way to achieve senior leadership goals, such as sales, employee engagement and hiring, sustainability, and revenue, while also making the world a better place.

Another by-product of integrating societal engagement goals and metrics throughout the entire business plan is the restoration of corporate trust. When stakeholders see that a company is clear about its values and commitment to overall sustainability, the business and the community benefit.

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Is failing fast the best way to collaborate?

Some tools to boost your ability to partner effectively

By Richard Crespin

Fail fast. Fail forward. That’s the latest advice from Silicon Valley’s startups. But if you work in a large institution, “fail” is a four letter word. Even if your corporate culture respects smart failure, when you collaborate with partners from the public or civil sector, their cultures may not. We can, though, adapt these startup techniques to form more effective public- private-civil partnerships by doing three things: start with data, recruit strange bedfellows, and co-create.

Start with data. Problems that need public-private-civil collaboration are messy. They don’t have easy-to-understand causes and no one party can solve them on their own. But we crave simplicity, so attempts to solve these problems usually devolve into a witch-hunt or a search for silver bullets.

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Just how sound is shareholder-value primacy?

Rethinking shareholder and company value

By R. Paul Herman and Srdana Pokrajac

The debate around shareholder-value primacy heated up at the end of February when a representative from conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research (NPCCR) asked the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook to commit to act only for the benefit of shareholder return on investment (ROI), expressing concern that Apple’s investments in renewable energy might jeopardize company and shareholder value.

NCPPR questioned the soundness of Apple’s membership in the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which supports sustainability initiatives and encourages its members to apply such views in their business operations.

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