Can we rely on organisations to evolve from the capitalist ‘profit focused’ model to that of being socially and environmentally aware in sufficient time to save themselves and, more importantly, prevent adverse and irreversible impact on the world health and wellbeing?
I am hopeful, as it will be in their interests to do so.
Organisations will change because their stakeholders demand it and those organisations that do not listen or respond, will not thrive or they will cease to exist. Stakeholders such as Fund Managers, Social Entrepreneurs, Governments, Consumers, Media and Analysts and Employees are becoming more active and aware and they are increasingly starting to voice their opinion and act so as to ensure that, what influence they do have, they have an impact.
Stakeholder effectiveness will vary depending on the industry, organization type, structure of organisation, size, etc but thankfully stakeholder influence is not one dimensional. Pressure and influence will be exerted on organisations from a number of directions.
Fund Managers can decide whether they want to invest in an organisation whose activities do not align with their mandate on social and environmental objectives, Governments can include conditions in tenders that ‘favour’ social and environmentally focused organsations, ‘Good’ employees may leave or not join an organization whose values do not align with theirs. All these stakeholders and many more have the ability to individually, collectively, directly and indirectly to influence the direction and activities of an organization.
Stakeholders need to challenge and continue the momentum that has started and to reward those organisations that ‘voluntarily’ refocus from short term profitability to long term sustainability. Reward them with being the employer of choice or the organization that individuals, investors, governments, consumers want to be aligned with.
Organisations should also embrace the change, not fight it. The rewards are there for those that embrace it.