How do we turn words into action?
As you may have recently heard, the publication of the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation marks an unprecedented commitment by 181 US business leaders to seek success for their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders, customers, employers, suppliers, communities and shareholders. But what is a commitment without action?
The Business Roundtable stated that this commitment “outlines a modern standard for corporate responsibility” and the weight of this announcement should not be underestimated. For the first time in history, the Roundtable – convening CEOs of major US companies, such as Amazon, The Coca-Cola Company and Apple – made a public commitment to create value by serving the long-term needs of all stakeholders, rather than short-term financial returns for shareholders.
This is an extremely promising indication of a growing global movement of businesses committing to creating a more inclusive economy and society. However, when will action follow so that inclusive businesses are the norm not the exception in our economy?
The Business Roundtable has outlined some practical steps for businesses to take, from investing in employees to dealing with ethical suppliers. But the fact still remains that even the mightiest corporations struggle to drive change and action in isolation.
For too long CSR professionals have sought to make the business case that corporate responsibility can be a means to securing a market edge over competitors – for example in the war for talent.
What we need now is collective action.
That’s why the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) seeks to harness the power of partnership to drive change through collaboration. The IEP brings business, civil society and government together, to successfully create a unique environment where social impact activity is supercharged.
Yet whilst we have already seen enormous impact, we are still at the beginning of our journey. In order to make a step-change in the lives of those in the UK who need it most, we need to scale up the IEP and transform commitments – like those made by the 181 US business leaders – into action.
Phase 2 of IEP is bringing new opportunities for organisations to get involved. The IEP presents a ready-made way of making a difference, to help all companies – at varying stages of their journey – translate the strong words of the Business Roundtable statement into action.
We are making steps in the right direction, but we want to make leaps.
Will you join us?