Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good For Business

"Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. " -Socrates

I recently read a book called Good for Business: The Rise of the Conscious Corporation
by Andrew Bennett, Cavas Gobhai, Ann O'Reilly and Greg Welch.

The gist of the message in the book is that it's smart for business to be socially [and environmentally] conscious and the company should do good because it's smart business..

From the book:
"Today, the notion that corporate "do-gooding" is antithetical to profits has been turned on its head. AS we will discuss in this book, study after study has shown that reputation and a more ethical approach to business reap riches. That is why as many as nine in ten fortune 500 companies now have dedicated initiatives focused on corporate social responsibility. And it is why risk to a company's reputation is now seen as important to guard against than any other risk, including regulatory, credit, and market risks....The fact is that corporate reputation matters more today because brand matters more."

The Internet and social media and social media is helping to drive the necessity for business to be socially good. It is so easy for a reputation to be sullied by poor corporate actions that's absolutely critical for companies to try to build a corporate goodwill account.

The book has an interesting story of innocent ??drinks, who lives by "leaving things a little better than we find them". This company managed to gain 72% market share in the UK, smoothing market by interacting with their consumers in a friendly, familiar and fun way and emphasizing honesty, community and charitable values.

From the book "In our work with different industries and with all sorts and sizes of companies, we have come to view the following actions as essential to success:

-Find the right fit
-Commit the appropriate resources
-Build alliances and get your halo certified
-Be ever vigilant
-be loud and proud
-keep pushing forward
-get consumers involved

Some companies are even moving from a mission statement to a we believe statement.

"Twenty-first century CEOS will be judged not only by how well they changed their industries, but also how well t hey led their companies to have positive impacts on the world."-Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO, Advanced Micro Devices.



And an urban myth debunked. It takes more muscles to smile than to frown so only frown if you are feeling lazy.

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