Mon, April 25 2011

CSR is dead; Long live CSR

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Cause-related marketing • Partnerships •

Last week, I attended an event for Georgetown University’s new Global Social Enterprise Initiative, led by Bill Novelli (a mentor/hero of mine).  The initiative at the McDonough School of Business will promote public-private partnerships that improve global health, economic growth, responsible investing, international development and a cleaner environment.  Bank of America is an early supporter.

Public-private partnership is certainly experiencing a renaissance and replacing antiquated CSR paradigms.  As one attendee put it, “CSR is dead; long live CSR.” (CSR = corporate social responsibility)

Darell Hammond, founder of Kaboom and a panelist at last week’s event, explained why: “Problems don’t come from single sectors, and the solutions won’t either… We have siloes of good: good business leaders, good nonprofit leaders, good foreign service leaders, etc.  What we need is a horizontal line among them.”

So how do you forge effective new alliances across sectors?  Reggie Van Lee of Booz Allen Hamilton, who also spoke at the event, had some good advice:

1. The social problem you’re tackling needs to be something all stakeholders perceive as a shared challenge that urgently needs addressing.

2. You need to assemble the people who share that perception into an organized entity with infrastructure.

3. Put in place rigorous program management, including managing to shared milestones.

Good advice.


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