Apologies for this post, but this is all about not-so-Despicable me. No offence taken at all if you click away at this point, as I need to indulge myself a little.
After seven and a half years of all things Coethica the time is ready for me to evolve. I know not what that change is specifically at this particular moment – all suggestions are very welcome from anywhere, or any sector in the world – but a new direction will be forged. Some interesting offers are being considered but for the sanity of everybody around me my main hat will at least be worn much less from this day on.
The reason for this channel of personal thinking out loud is to help clear my head and also tap into and share with some of the many amazing people and organisations I have met and shared many ideas online. I am by nature an explorer, a passionate creative nuisance intent on leaving our world better than it would have been without me.
After falling in love with the purest form of this thing called CSR (i.e. holistic, balanced and embedded – you know the one, the lesser spotted variety) about 15 years ago I’ve met leaders from global CEO’s to local start-up entrepreneurs in deprived communities that have both dazzled and depressed. I’ve set up social enterprises, supported corporates and what feels like everything in between. I’m sure there’s a couple of books in there somewhere.
I know for a fact business can change the world, most of the time just needs giving the confidence to try harder.
This is not to say Coethica will be no more, version 2 is defined and ready to roll, it is that it needs at least somebody else at the helm. Let me know if you want to find out more and take the reins of a ready-made social business to change the world! My gift to the right person, with maybe a couple of thin strings.
It has been for the most part a lonely journey, both geographically and intellectually, setting off in 2005 to challenge and inspire the small and medium market (but not excluding the corporates) to see the benefits of all things CSR / social enterprise /’pick your ethical business buzzword’ all atop a rollercoaster of a personal life that until recently only began to give me genuine freedom to get out and begin to deliver what we had learned through years of grassroots SME and corporate ‘market research’.
Sometimes the hardest decision in the world is being honest with yourself and make that change to re-energise spiritually. My wonderful wife and wider family have supported me through some magical highs and crushing lows and I owe it to them to take a more simplified path. Spinning too many plates for too long, however impressive at the time, is a recipe for one hell of a mess of crockery, not that I’ve broken many but I’ve been close to a couple of wobblers.
In short, I’m taking a the next couple of months to explore my own future as a real person separate from Coethica – a hard task for any entrepreneur, and the options on the horizon so far just don’t feel like the right fit. So, if you or anybody you know has a challenge they need help with or a gap that needs filling, by somebody of certain unique cocktail of experiences and abilities, well, as long as it serves a greater good, my intrigue is open for discussion.
If anybody should want a more focused summary of me, give me a call (get in touch via the comments) as I like a good natter, or for the more passive / furtive out there, my LinkedIn profile is probably as good place to start as any.
And just for pure childish summer fun, here is the trailer for Despicable Me 2. Enjoy. Freeeeze Ray!
What would you do if an employee bit one of your competitors?
I know this doesn’t happen often, and in most cases the answer is to show that employee the door, quickly. What if that employee was one of most talented in your industry? Should that make a difference? What if that employee also demonstrated public indicators of emotional or mental instability?
The Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC game yesterday was supposed to be a stage for a returning and much loved ex-manager and a platform to show support for a recently departed campaigner for justice following the Hillsborough disaster, but midway through the second half the next day’s headlines were decided beyond all doubt.
Why Luis Suarez sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic is a mystery. No real warning signs of prior animosity during the game leading to an innocuous tussle, then a bolt from the blue vampire-like thrust toward the Chelsea defender. Nobody saw it coming, but then again you wouldn’t, and the referee didn’t either.
So, what happens next? Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Vodafone’s ‘Your Better Business’ website, which describes itself as
“an open exchange of ideas and opinions that can help shape the future of business. It’s also a platform where the brightest business brains will contribute and share information on the latest best practice models, give expert business advice and talk about the role technology is playing. ”
Here’s a short extract and a link (below text or image top right) to an article I wrote on real world CSR for small business…
“In an increasingly connected world, where political upheaval and environmental challenges are gathering pace, there’s pressure on business to adapt.
As a result, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming more and more relevant – even critical – to the success of businesses of all sizes. The problem is, it’s commonly misunderstood, and its power underestimated. So dismiss it at your peril.
Written by davidcoethica
April 15, 2013 at 10:59 am
Sometimes the world can feel like an overwhelmingly big place and we, as individuals, can do little on our own to make it better against the tide of challenges and barriers, especially our own self-limiting beliefs.
There are those who believe differently though. Are you one?
yourbigyear.com has launched its third year of a global competition that doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to social impact and talent. Last year I spent some time talking to Chris Arnold, Founder of the Smaller Earth Group that created Your Big Year and shared a few thoughts in this blog post.
So, if you’re aged between 18 – 30 and think you’ve got what it takes to be a global ambassador for the greater good, I dare you to watch the video below.
12 winners from around the world will be flown to Liverpool for the final round and the overall winner walking (or flying) away with the year of a lifetime and a springboard to an amazing career.
World Merit Co-Founder Marti Wigder Grimminck says “We are looking to connect and support the world’s talent, the next generation of leaders. Diversity and common purpose brings about innovation and social change.”
Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is wrong
If you work in social enterprise or a charitable organisation make sure you find 18 minutes and 55 seconds to watch the video below.
I’ve seen the link to this video enthusiastically being bounced around the social media world for a few days and I finally managed to squeeze in a watch over lunch today.
I’ll let Dan do the talking first and add a few thoughts after you’ve heard what he has to say…
He’s absolutely on the money and he knows what he’s talking about. Too many in the social world are too disconnected from the strengths of the private sector.
I also understand that even given an acceptance of his ethos the next massive barrier is the delivery quality of this more aggressive approach to fundraising and marketing. Increased overheads can only be justified by operational results, and social impact over any agreed time period.
The big challenge is to encourage a significantly stronger entrepreneurial approach to social impact and mitigate the unease created by the increased blurring of the boundaries between private sector methodologies and social sector aspirations.
What will the Amazon of the social impact world look like?
Written by davidcoethica
March 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm
It may have taken a while but VfL Wolfsburg are the winners!
Back in October 2010 I wrote a post called Not a Premier League CSR Report about the state of non-financial reporting in football, especially in the UK. At the end of the post I urged / hoped / challenged / pleaded with the industry to step up to the penalty spot by producing a credible report. VfL Wolfsburg have scored first.
The post was spurred at the time by a couple of so-called CSR reports by Manchester City and Aston Villa (and an earlier attempt by Chelsea). Manchester City’s in particular was much more of an interactive animation experiment by a communications team than a genuine report with little credible detail.
The German based team playing in the Bundesliga recently kicked out their ‘Moving Together’ sustainability report, and it was GRI certified (Level B)! I should also point out that a couple of other teams (SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll) have also produced GRI based reports, but neither of these was certified externally.
I applaud all three teams for taking what was a bold step, and especially Wolfsburg for going into extra time and opting for external verification. In an industry dominated by a culture of defensiveness (no pun intended this time) it was a brave decision to be a pioneer for openness. I wonder if Wolfsburg’s approach is linked to their parent organisation Volkswagen?
Congratulations to all involved at Wolfsburg, and very worthy recommendations to SC Corinthians Paulista and Djurgarden Fotboll.
Now, who will be the first to score an ‘A’ rating from GRI?
Written by davidcoethica
March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm
You may have noticed a strange post here from yesterday evening about ‘Take a look at Maps’.
I’m pretty certain the site hasn’t been hacked and the not-so-lengthy high tech investigation has revealed two possibilities:
My currently very temperamental Samsung Galaxy S2 spontaneously posted in reaction to a bitterly cold hilly seven mile run – and Endomondo did flip out at a very similar time.
My wonderfully talented and curious soon to be six-year-old son Jack (who should have been in bed at that time on a school night), was experimenting with Daddy’s laptop whilst he was out running.
Both explanations cannot be ruled out at this point. An interrogation will be held with said son as soon as he gets home from his Grandparents, and before his bedtime milk.
Either way, please accept my apologies for any spam like notifications and feel reassured that my attempts at running shall never again take control of the gadgetry, and Jack’s next post will be of much higher quality and eloquence.
I hope you enjoy Jack’s latest artwork – ‘Tree in a storm’ – as token reparation for the posting blip.
Written by davidcoethica
November 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Posted in Corporate Social Responsibility