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How your company should become more socially responsible

SmartBrief is partnering with Big Think to create a weekly video spotlight in SmartBrief on Leadership called “VIP Corner: Video Insights Powered by Big Think.” This week, we’re featuring Christopher Meyer, founder of Monitor Talent.

Many people are seeking alternatives to short-term earnings as a measurement of company success, but overwhelming companies with a mandate to change the world isn’t the answer, Meyer says.

Corporate social responsibility is a worthy goal, but it’s attainable — and manageable — only in the context of making a company more responsible for itself. Make that the direct goal, Meyer says, and leave bettering the planet a byproduct.

Companies should find what they can internally change, whom they can influence indirectly and what areas are outside the company’s traditional realm but where support of the right organization can make a difference. Executing this layered approach correctly allows financial success without taking on all of the world’s problems.

“Take ownership, take action, take an interest [as] a way of rationalizing responsibility for a corporation’s actions with social benefits, which is a little more coherent than generalized corporate social responsibility,” Meyer says.

Big Think is a forum in which top experts explore big ideas and core skills defining the 21st century. Learn more from its editors, fellows and guest speakers.