Call it “corporate social responsibility,” “socially responsible business,” the Triple Bottom Line, or any one of a dozen other terms of art to characterize how entrepreneurs and established businesses alike are adopting new ways in a search for long-term sustainability and do good while doing well. In its purest form, this new wave in the world of commerce is grounded in a commitment to reward the contributions of all a company’s stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and the environment as well as its owners or shareholders. We call this “stakeholder-centered management.”
A business that practices stakeholder-centered management can maximize the chances that it will not just survive but flourish over the long term.
Why should this be so? Because employees treated to fair compensation, equal treatment, and generous benefits are more productive — and more loyal, thus lowering recruitment and training costs. Because customers assured of quality and fair prices become repeat customers. Because suppliers treated as business partners go the extra mile. Because communities that benefit from the businesses they house are quick to support them as customers. Because a business that minimizes its carbon footprint is more likely to adjust easily to the new reality wrought by global warming.
In simpler words, in business for good, what goes around, comes around.
Paul Polak and Mal Warwick’s award-winning book, The Business Solution to Poverty, highlights 20 “takeaways” that encapsulate much of the book’s essence. Today we have featured the eighteenth of those takeaways. Future posts will include others.