Kees van der Graaf - Tracey Keys - Thomas Malnight
Too often, executives have viewed corporate social responsibility (CSR) as just another source of pressure or passing fad. But as customers, employees, and suppliers' and, indeed, society more broadly-place increasing importance on CSR, some leaders have started to look at it as a creative opportunity to fundamentally strengthen their businesses while contributing to society at the same time. They view CSR as central to their overall strategies, helping them to creatively address key business issues.
The big challenge for executives is how to develop an approach that can truly deliver on these lofty ambitions-and, as of yet, few have found the way. However, some innovative companies have managed to overcome this hurdle, with smart partnering emerging as one way to create value for both the business and society simultaneously. Smart partnering focuses on key areas of impact between business and society and develops creative solutions that draw on the complementary capabilities of both to address major challenges that affect each partner. In this article, we build on lessons from smart partnering to provide a practical way forward for leaders to assess the true opportunities of CSR.
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