Business vs social – an artificial separation that does not work any more
The popular 1970s slogan “The business of business is business” is symptomatic of an artificial separation of social and economic concerns that affected education, process thinking and the CSR units of corporations. The demand for increased corporate social responsibility is growing louder. “Within the public at large, conventional CSR is perceived more as provocation” (Schranz). Nowadays, a larger or smaller donation volume and commitment to the environment at the local, national or even international level are no longer sufficient for a company to position itself as responsible, not to mention solving actual, large-scale problems, such as those in the health sector. Short-term market goals, traditional business processes and targets relating to profit maximisation are often in conflict with the needs of society. Sometimes criticised as greenwashing, traditional CSR activities are reaching their limits, since they are unable to provide actual, game-changing solutions, such as primary care for all in the healthcare sector. However, from the perspective of systemic global needs, the commitment of the “social world” and even development aid policy are also insufficient. There is a lack of sustainable, comprehensive solutions and assertiveness. Companies and non-profit organisations can implement far-reaching solutions and therefore create long-term markets only if they work together, through community-driven approaches, connected thinking beyond traditional business vs social boundaries and a social entrepreneur mindset.
Intuition and business simply do not fit. Facts and figures, KPIs and market research, that is what is needed. Isn’t it?
So- called crisis managers do their best to explain the problems: by linking back to external factors, contemporary influences, decisions by third parties. I just wonder why it never ends… It seems that there are more and more crisis managers wanted.
Many companies, many employees feel it: something is going really wrong. Consulting agencies gain a lot of money – are these desperate calls for help? Huge trend reports measure it, these trends around demographic developments, climate issues, new market discovery… the call for innovation is getting loud.
We hear it, we write it down, we present it and … We better not think to much about it. It takes too much afford, too much complexity, too much energy and too much courage.
It requires a lot of courage to innovate, to define business in a different way, to change processes that have worked well for so many years. And which – by the way – still lead to profit now. You are interested to gain the maximum of profit as soon as possible? Keep old models. Innovation takes time. Maybe too much time for you.
You want your business to survive and have profits also tomorrow?
Then it is time to change the heart of how business is done. Then it is worth to change, not just to decorate in a slightly different way by adding a new blinky green button somewhere…
The heart of business needs to change. That’s it.
What are you going to do? Are you a changemaker or do you prefer to keep with what you have in place?
It is just up to you to decide.