Is social entrepreneurship cannibalizing civic engagement?

Without making a deliberate effort to see beyond the role of “entrepreneur” and “enterprise,” do we lose sight of incredible opportunities to build strong communities, engaged constituencies, and networks of change makers that don’t have a profit motive or a revenue objective? This Fall I will be teaching a cohort of undergraduate and MBA students about social enterprises and social entrepreneurship. …

Customers Come First! (Or do they?)

Recently I was at an event where a panelist declared the age of the customer to be “over,” favouring an employee-centric culture, because, “if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy.” It felt like a classic chicken and egg scenario: what comes first, your employees or your customers? Sure, people work with people, and if customers are interacting …

Lead from Hope: Thoughts On the UK Election

It’s another year, so there’s another reason to vote in the UK! Yes, following a general election in 2015 and the Brexit referendum in 2016, we’re now in full election fever! Again. As Brenda from Bristol said when this election was announced: “You’re joking. Not another one?… There’s too much politics going on at the moment.” (Brenda4PM trended on Twitter …

Elements of Strategy: Measuring Success

When you measure your business’s success, do you look beyond the bottom line? With 88% of consumers seeking brands that respect people and planet, social impact and sustainability are real imperatives in any measure of success. This is the final post in a four-part series about the elements of strategy. In the first, we talked about a clear, compelling, actionable and …

Reflections of Our CEO: Numbers Really Do Lie

“Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel,” I said. To this day, I’m not sure if it was the words that came back, or the instinctive speed with which they were said, but the response was quick and perfect. I was sitting on the cold, hard steps behind our office, looking across the park to downtown Vancouver, the city I call home. …

Is Environmental Sustainability Unsustainable?

Sustainable development is about “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” So said Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway. Until the 1980s, business leaders used the word sustainability to mean a company’s ability to increase its earnings, steadily through time. It wasn’t until 1987 and the UN Brundtland Report …

Your CSR Story: Five Steps to Engage Your Stakeholders

It’s often said that the goal of a Corporate Social Responsibility function in business should be to cease to exist. Can CSR be so embedded in the company that a separate CSR team is wholly unnecessary? It’s a useful question, in that it helps to avoid ‘silo’ thinking. And that’s essential when you’re developing the communications plan for your CSR …