Big business and corporate responsibility: Have confidence in what you do

If you work in corporate responsibility, it’s a safe bet that you could probably be both more bold and more confident in your communications as a company.


Because if you organisation has someone with that job title, or close to it, you are already streets ahead of most other organisations in your community, sector or city.

I meet a lot of companies, some CEOs, many CR people. One thing that strikes me is, along with communications that are generally not that good, is a lack of confidence.

I should be clear: I don’t think most companies (99.9%) are doing all they can on corporate responsibility.

Stakeholder engagement, transparency and honesty are a long way from where they could be.

BUT, and this is a big but, hence the caps, we need to keep this in perspective, for two reasons:

1) I’d wager almost every company with someone in a CR role has done way more now, than they had five or ten years ago. And should be proud of that. Degrees differ, but progress counts.

2) Whatever you’ve done, while it’s not enough, it’s very likely to be a lot more than your local government, competitors and equivalent (in head count) public sector organisations have done.

So have more confidence. Get your CEO and senior managers out there talking more about what you’ve done on community work, on the environment, on supply chains.

So what if it’s not perfect, so what if your bosses screw up whilst talking about it.

Even if they do, that way they will learn. If the media wants to slam you, they’ll do it anyway. If you are honest about progress and challenges, you’ll gain credibility. Your stakeholders are not dumb, even if large tranches of the media think that they are.

So be bold. Really, what have you got to lose?

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