Monday, January 26, 2009
CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility
My friend Elad Sherf really keeps me on my toes! His recent blog post on Business and Sustainability is a response to the Corporate Social Responsiblity lecture we had at AGSM last week. I feel his response to the lecture is valid, but seeing something written that opposes my position so strongly, I feel I need to put my words out there. To the benefit of my argument, Barack Obama has been sharing the same information with the world and so I echo his sentiments.
I am coming from a background of working with Counter Culture Coffee, a global leader in ethical and fiscally sustainable business practices, so that is the foundation of my frame of reference. More recently I was at ASI-Modulex where good people were making a valiant effort at partnering with the US Green Building Council to position the company as a leader in LEED certified contracts and sustainability.
While Elad has had a background as a lawyer and working in the Israeli military, he has my profound respect along with my fundamental disagreements. Our presentation by Anthony and Louise Lupi presented some of the most valuable information our MBA program will face as we train to become the leaders of tomorrow. If we have learned nothing else as a global culture, our lesson has been that we cannot continue with business as usual.
If anyone remembers the opportunity that the USA had after September 11, 2001 to unite the world and conquer our common problems as a true team, keep that thought in mind while I continue. The enemy of "Terrorism" has always been completely bogus, while the "War" waged against it is the most Terror oriented activity in the big picture of the issues it raises.
The most realistic enemy we can face as a global population is our own greed, zionism, short-sightedness, and resistance to change. It's one thing for soldiers and employees to follow the orders of their superiors. It's another thing for the leaders of these minions to dig deep within themselves and make the right choices based on their profound and sustainable understanding of humanity.
That is what we are doing here at the AGSM MBA. We are doing the work demanded of us by those who may give in return, hopefully deservedly, the most sacred responsibility of leadership. Business, like any human activity, has no place on this planet unless it takes into consideration the advancement of the species and improvement of the quality of life we all share.
Human suffering is real, and anyone who feels they are impervious to our genetic connection and responsibility for each other is, in my humble opinion, moving exponentially in the wrong direction.