Social impact is more than a buzz word. For growing numbers of organizations, it’s an operational principle. Yet the public remains skeptical that businesses mean what they say on such issues. In his latest Forbes column, Delve CEO Jeff Berkowitz outlines how organizations can make a real commitment to social impact without any surprises, and what a failure to fully consider such initiatives through can mean for an organization. Read the except below, or head to Forbes.com to read the full article.
With brands taking greater leadership roles in society, they’re now expected to engage on a wider range of issues, including those not directly related to their business. A variety of stakeholders will encourage an organization to lead with social impact as much as they do the products they make or the services they provide. Employees, investors, advisers, community activists, policymakers and even executives see how critical dedication to shared social values can be not only to a company’s corporate culture but also to its bottom line.
In a deeply divided nation, such corporate activism can present challenges to organizations once reticent to take public stands on contentious issues but now thrust into today’s political and social debates. As Axios reported, a recent survey warned about “the danger of speaking out impulsively on issues that aren’t core to the business.” According to Fox Business, the survey found that while 63% of corporate executives think “companies should speak out on social issues,” just 36% of voters agree. Even worse, only 39% of voters think corporate communications of social issues is effective.
Here are three practices executives must adopt to shape their organization’s social impact in a thoughtful and authentic way that minimizes risks and increases the likelihood their efforts will be well-received: (1) Know your history before you engage. (2) Don’t sign up for principles before you understand their implications. (3) Actions speak louder and longer than words.
Continue reading at Forbes.com and learn why these three practices are crucial to social impact success.