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 …

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. …

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 …

Elements of Strategy: Focus your mission….

Strategy can be a highly complex process, involving myriad diverse stakeholders, numerous possible futures, and a dizzying range of possibilities. Yet in the end, strategy is also simple: It’s a plan of action to achieve a desired goal. In our last post, we talked about the first element of strategy—a clear, compelling, aspirational and actionable vision. A well-developed vision answers …

Getting Sustainability Reporting Right: Three Trends to Know

Sustainability reporting is being used more frequently as a strategic tool for businesses to address popular interest in socially and environmentally responsible products. Showcasing impact and stakeholder engagement are top priorities, and three trends are giving shape to the most successful reports. Purpose is Moving to the Centre of Attention There’s a growing understanding that employees and customers want to buy …

Islington Refugee Centre | The Heart of Progress

Last summer, my children’s school in Highgate, north London hosted the launch event of a new organisation called Highgate Has Heart. We couldn’t have known walking in that our heartstrings would be pulled into what became an incredibly meaningful pro bono project. Highgate Has Heart was set up by local people, including the actor Juliet Stevenson. The group seeks to …