Denise Berger, Ed.D.
Leadership Culture Impact
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill ("Winston Churchill quotes," n.d., para. 1)
Got Soul? Why do CSR the right way
Values matter. They form the basis of an individual's character, and they are foundational to an organization's culture. Too often, however, we neglect our values. We might think we have them, but in fact, we have not done the proper work to be clear about them. Perhaps we have too many, because in all honesty, there are so many values that are really good ones to own, and sound great to say! But we simply cannot be deeply connected to a laundry list of values.
We have to choose a handful for which we are willing to put our flag in the sand. We have to choose a handful that answer "why." Values are a window into the soul. They help give us clarity of purpose and they help others understand our passion, beliefs and our truth. Done right.... they serve as a platform to amplify impact. From an organizational perspective, you know you have done them right when employees feel their authenticity, stand by the values.... and even sign the values as a gift to their leader!
When values are neglected... we lack clarity of intention. We can be scattered. We can be aimless, lacking a compass - moral or otherwise. At times, we might have the best of intentions, but we do not have time to sit with the work of establishing values. Or, we simply choose not to prioritize this work. But the upside is worth the investment in time and energy because our values have a central role to play in all strategic decisions. We are meant to rely on foundational values in difficult times or when we are conflicted. Our individual values underly character development as much as shared organizational values drive culture.
Companies that do CSR the right way know the importance of their values. Their values are embedded in the DNA of the organization. The values drive decision-making - from the strategic level to every day business. Their values promote 3P results: people, planet and profit. And research has revealed that these organizations' share core ideologies, grounded in circular wisdom and virtuous responsibility. To learn more about the research and the findings, read "Have Soul: Why Select U.S. Fortune 500 Global Corporations Do CSR the Right Way."