Corporate Responsibility matters (redux)

The stats tell me that CR Matters passed 1,000 page views whilst I was away – probably not that impressive in the grand scheme of things, but a landmark nevertheless.

It’s also a decent excuse for a recap and an attempt to offer some sort of digest of key points so far from a thinking p.o.v.

So I asked myself the question: if someone could take away no more than 5 ideas or insights from this blog, what would I want them to be? And here’s what I came up with…

1. The “CR continuum” model
The simplest illustration of my views on the evolution of CR strategy and practice, and its potential as a lasting source of brand and competitive advantage. The key point? Anything less than Level 4 on the Continuum, and CR is destined to become a hygiene factor.

Some relevant posts:
Where do you sit on the CR continuum?
Can CSR survive a recession?
Learning from the UK retail sector

2. CR without HR is just PR
A catchy soundbite perhaps, but one that encapsulates some critical points – not least that a credible commitment to CR begins by addressing the issues closest to home – i.e. those that directly impact employees, customers and suppliers.

Some relevant posts:
CR without HR is just PR
A short treatise on the language of diversity

3. CR 1.0 is dead. Long live CR 2.0!
Want to know what makes a genuine claim to market leadership in CR terms? Companies, such as Interface, have signalled a major evolution in CR strategy and practice – from tool to enhance corporate reputation, to key driver of innovation and value creation.

Some relevant posts:
A fundamental question of leadership
Looking for inspiration? Come and meet Ray Anderson

4. Materiality is king
Simply chucking money at good causes doesn’t cut it with a sceptical public. A credible commitment to CR requires a business’ efforts to be “material” – i.e. focused on issues directly relevant to, and most impacted by, its strategy and operations.

Some relevant posts:
How do you eat an elephant?
It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it

5. The first law of CR communications: do then say!
If you want to avoid accusations of greenwashing, don’t tell people what you plan to do, engage them with stories of what you’ve actually done – illustrated by meaningful proof-points, and wrapped up in a compelling narrative as to why that’s relevant and important to your stakeholders.

Some relevant posts:
How do you eat an elephant?
Where do you sit on the CR continuum?
Whatever you do, don’t do a Heather!

If you’re new to the blog, I hope this provides a handy, quick reference guide and encourages you join in the conversations on previous posts.

Regular readers, I’d be interested to know if your top 5 would be any different, or if you’ve got any of your own insights you’d like to share. Answers on a postcard to the usual address please… 🙂

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