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Internal CSR communication sucks


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CSR professionals need to up their game on internal communications or they (we) will continue to play in a sandbox on the margins of the business

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Published in: Business
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Internal CSR communication sucks

  1. 1. Helping business to serve shareholders AND society SIMULTANEOUSLY Let’s be honest: Internal CSR Communication Sucks! -by Wayne Dunn
  2. 2. CSR Mumbley Gook communications need to stop. Until us CSR Professionals get better at internal communications and engagement we will stay in an irrelevant sandbox away from core business activities and decisions. CEOs, because of the broad and diverse constituents they deal with, generally get the relevance of CSR. Too often the Finance, Operations, Engineering, Production and other functions don’t get it. They may make the right noises (because it is expected of them) but at a fundamental level they don’t get the core relevance of CSR to their role and their career. Part of the reason they don’t get it is because the CSR Pros (myself included) can’t or won’t spend the time making focused internal business cases. The “What’s in it for me?” case must be developed and communicated across the entire organization. Let’s be honest: Internal CSR Communication Sucks! It is the CSR team’s responsibility to help EVERY leader and their team understand the relevance of CSR for their role and work.
  3. 3. Let’s be honest: Internal CSR Communication Sucks! Page 02 There is a strong What’s in it for me? for Finance, Operations, Engineering, Production, R & D and other areas of the business. If they don’t know it then it is up to the CSR team to develop and communicate it so they can hear it. Until they do, CSR will remain an outsider to the inside of the business. CSR is important for Shareholders AND for all functions and divisions inside a company. It is CSR’s responsibility to help those functions and divisions to understand why. If they don’t, then the CSR team has failed. If CSR is on the outside looking in at company operations then the CSR team has to take the lead to change that. By making it clearly understood how and why CSR is directly relevant to the organization’s Departments and Units, Leaders and Workers.
  4. 4. Page 03 Some thoughts on how to do this are in Engaging Internal Stakeholders in our CSR Knowledge Centre. But don’t expect all the answers there. They aren’t. Many of the answers are in your experience and insights. Look there for the stories and the business case that can help your colleagues to understand the importance of CSR for all functions and departments in your organization. Remember, if you are not creating value with CSR then you will have a tough time to communicate value. But, when you do create value with CSR, be sure to communicate it. Not communicate in a Socialwash sort of way, but it a way that can be heard and accepted. No jargon. Plain language. If you can’t communicate it in plain language you probably don’t understand the value proposition clearly. Go back and work on it until you do. Let’s be honest: Internal CSR Communication Sucks!
  5. 5. Page 04 When we get the internal CSR communications right not only will our work be easier and our external CSR projects work better and have more societal impact. Our company and our shareholders will capture more value too. When business value is aligned with societal value and everyone clearly understands the alignment there is a powerful force at work Let’s be honest: Internal CSR Communication Sucks! There is a simple answer to What’s in it for me. Keep working until you find it. When we can clearly communicate the value to internal constituencies we can move forward in alignment, with CSR as a core part of the overall business value creation team
  6. 6. Below are some recent articles and publications on Corporate Social Responsibility and stakeholder engagement that you may find interesting. CSR SWOT discover risk, value and more Eleven strategies for maximizing value from CSR CSR in Budget Crunch Times 12 strategies for success Multi-sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatu- ral Partners From Pariah to Exemplar Applying the 6 best practices Engaging Internal Stakeholders Seven proven strategies CSR Communications Eleven mistakes to avoid Stakeholder Engagement Six best practices Creating a CSR Program in eight self-serving steps CSR Metrics: You can’t measure temperature with a speedometer Stakeholder Engagement Five common mistakes CSR Value Continuum A unique perspective on Shared Value Smarter CSR Budgets 8 steps to connect budget to value 28 Expert tips On stakeholder engagement Don’t be an Altruistic Angel Be transparent about what’s in it for you 13 Mistakes that prevent & destroy Multi-sector CSR partnerships NHL Sustainability Report Good but incomplete. Four Strategies for Local Content Success
  7. 7. Professor Dunn brings a practical and realistic approach to CSR, blending theory and practice to develop realistic models and approaches to address real-world challenges Dr. Ellis Armstrong Former CFO, BP Exploration …coherent, thoughtful, stimulating and insightful… state of the art! The network of participants from the public, private and civil society sectors was incredible, some of the leading experts in the field.   Kojo Busia, Ph. D. Snr. Mineral Sector Governance Advisor United Nations Economic Commission for Africa/UNECA …pragmatic blend of theory and practice, very applicable to helping organizations meet real-world challenges. Frank McShane Manager, Corporate Responsibility Policy and Ethics, Talisman Energy … readily available to provide support to organizations like Amref that are seeking partnerships, and looking to bring about positive change in a collaborative and concrete way. Wayne and the CSR Training Institute helped us to identify and connect with potential partners and are always available. The training, the expertise, the network and the overall support are world-class. Onome Ako Director of Strategic Partnerships, Amref Health Africa “The program enhanced the CSR knowledge and strategic skills of our Kosmos Energy Ghana team, and offered the participants a platform for networking with professionals from other organizations across Africa and Ghana.”  Reg Manhas Sr VP Kosmos Energy Very much helpful Wayne; some of the tips and questions you gave will be an extremely helpful guide in the process of developing a CSR Strategy for my company. Emmanuel Aubynn Regional Social Responsibility Manager, Newmont Africa The CSR Program was excellent. A key aspect of my work is to encourage and support private sector development that contributes to Ghana’s overall socio-economic growth. The learning that I and my staff take away from attending this program will help us immensely with this responsibility. I highly recommend this program. Hon. Rashid Pelpuo (MP) Minister of State for Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnerships (Ghana) New and exciting insights into the theory and practice of CSR… great faculty and participants, very diversified. An excellent learning experience, very practical and useful. I’m very happy I was able to participate in it. Hon InusahFuseini (MP) Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ghana) WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT OUR WORK
  8. 8. Should Business Serve Helping business to serve society and shareholders, SIMULTANEOUSLY. Should Business Serve WAYNE DUNN, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER SHAREHOLDERS? SOCIETY? IT SHOULD SERVE BOTH. Wayne Dunn is President & Founder of the CSR Training Institute and Professor of Practice in CSR at McGill. He’s a Stanford Sloan Fellow with a M.Sc. in Management from Stanford Business School. He is a veteran of 20+ years of award winning global CSR and sustainability work spanning the globe and covering many industries and sectors including extensive work with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and globally. His work has won major international awards and has been used extensively as ‘best-practice’ by industry and academia. He’s also worked oil rigs, prospecting, diamond drilling, logging, commercial fishing, heavy equipment operator, truck driver and underwater logging, done a couple of start-ups and too many other things to mention. Wayne’s career includes big successes, and spectacular failures. He hopes he’s learned equally from both.