CR: Get beyond ‘table stakes’

See the innovations required—at the COMMIT!Forum Oct. 21-22 in NY.

By The Editors

You know that CR practices that used to be innovations only a few years ago (when we first put on this annual conference) are no longer innovative: Now they’re the table stakes. You are expected to ante up transparency and comprehensive reporting; you’re expected to have a CR program and be able to discuss sustainability and shared value in a context of employee-engagement and business performance is expected.

Now companies have grown more sophisticated in what they expect from each other. Similarly, employees have grown more sophisticated in what they expect from companies. And customers are more demanding, too. To remain at the table, you’ll have to drive innovation in the CR, sustainability and shared-value space—through employee and customer engagement, and throughout your supply chain.

If you’re in the B2B supply chain—and that’s most of us— consider setting aside Oct. 21-22 to meet with your peers at the annual COMMIT!Forum in New York. During that time, we have two separate events:

• Our annual CEO of the Year Dinner, which involves a separate admission fee. Last year, we had more than 15 CEOs, one of the largest gatherings of major public company CEOs in the country.

We heard from five CEO winners as they expressed in what ways they were able to get results through their organizations (and in fairness, to a person, they credited their teams and considered the wins to be “team awards.”)

A young man who was directly affected by one of the company programs received a standing ovation when he spoke of how he was able to finish high school because of Southwire’s 12 for Life program. The focus was not just on philanthropy and voluntarism, but also on strategically directing a company to use its resources to directly impact communities, employees and the environment.

We expect a similar turnout, similar enthusiasm, and similar insights this year.

• Our annual COMMIT!Forum. That’s a two-day conference of senior execs, CR and sustainability pros, and subject experts who will share their best practices, lessons learned (and what to avoid), and their thoughts on upcoming trends.

Last year, one of our most popular sessions involved our audience members crowd-sourcing answers to tough problems that required our attendees to dig deep to share their expertise and analytic skills. After this “issue tables” was completed, each audience member had probably a dozen innovative ideas to take home—as well as considerable food for thought.

This year, we’ll have two days of our hand-picked experts offer their best insights into innovative CR practices. Whether in-depth workshops, interactive sessions, or 10-minute “lightning rounds,” these sessions have consistently scored high with attendees for their clarity and take-home value.

And, of course, despite the great content, there will be plenty of time for you to network and catch up with your peers, as well as expand your professional network, by working with some of the best in the business.

On these pages, we have the preliminary agenda. It will be filled in as we get closer to the date. Follow the updates at Let’s see you there!

Posted August 13, 2015 in 25115