Friday, 9 July 2010

A new era of sustainability (maybe)

Accenture recently released a study called A New Era of Sustainability that involved nearly 800 CEOs from around the globe.  You can read the findings of the study here 

I found many aspects of the study of value however one section on page 23 jumped out at me.  This page is headed Building trust is a significant challenge for corporations. One statement particularly stands out for me 

It is not yet clear, however, to what extent business leaders see their own role in rebuilding a more trusted position for business in society—or whether they feel that individual action can address a global environment that sees some stakeholders ask serious questions about the purpose of business. 
For me building and sustaining trust is key to real leadership and it is quite simple - we do what we say we will and if for unforeseen circumstances we are unable to fulfil our promises we immediatley explain to those imvolved by telling them the truth.  Building and sustaining trust is no more complicated that this.  And if you can’t or won’t do this - you have forfeited your leadership.
As to the purpose of business I am very clear about this too.  The purpose of business is to provide the value to all stakeholders that they demand, desire, and feel they deserve without doing harm to people or our planet.
As for profit, well I have stated my view many times - profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business.
Why CEOs of some of the world’s leading companies are confused about any of the above I find unbelievable.
I would be very interested in your thoughts about building and sustaining trust and whether or not you feel it is as asimple as I do.
Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
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