Category Archives: Employees

Genuine Leadership Comes From MERIT*

The world needs leaders, and more than ever leaders with a strong moral compass.

You may remember my post about 2012  To Be  Big Year For Somebody, if not Your Big Year is a global competition aimed at identifying and nurturing the young  leaders of the future from across the globe through a year of travel and meeting current world leaders. Year one was big. Year two was bigger, and next year will see something new and even bigger.

Here is last year’s Your Big Year winner, the amazing Charles Batte, to set the scene…


The evolution is called World MERIT* (the asterisk is part of the brand!) and takes the concept well beyond that of Your Big Year.

The huge challenges of our tomorrows require a new breed of leader today. We have all been let down by those in historic positions of power across business and society that now require inspiration from those who are genuinely and tangibly connected to grassroots communities. Your Big Year began to unearth countless potential talented people from diverse backgrounds but could never nurture more than the overall individual winners. That needed to change.

So without further ado, relax and enjoy…


Trust me, this is going to be BIG. World MERIT* will officially launch later this year, and this is just the tip of the iceberg with a revolution being nurtured in parallel behind the WM* scenes.

I’ve agreed to help Chris Arnold (@MERITChris) and his team spread the message to the corporate world to help identify those looking to find potential World MERIT* candidates in their own organisations. So if you want more information about engaging your company send me message and I’ll connect you to Chris.

Watch this space…

Lt. Columbo investigates Best Buy’s Sustainability Report

I love technology; always have, always will. After all it could help save our planet one day, ably abetted by passionate real people of course.

When I was three (according to my parents) I took apart my first clock to find the tick-tock. Some things haven’t changed in 36 years. Last week I spent 5 minutes on the Dell support website then had my laptop open to clean it. Yes it needed cleaning but that wasn’t my reason for opening up my ageing trusty workhorse. I even took a degree in Technology Management on my meandering career path just for the pure tech geek in me.

As I get older and more comfortable with my inner geek, my adventures in CSR increasingly gravitate toward tech related issues and last week’s #CSRchat format Twitter event with Best Buy promoting its sustainability wares was an event I wasn’t going to miss. I forcibly wedged the Livestream session into a maniacally crammed Outlook calendar and also agreed to a conference call with the Best Buy video stars of the webcast the following day.

For those who haven’t taken part in a Twitter chat, especially the #CSRchat, you should; they can be an exhilarating combination of intelligent comment, foresight, learning and fun – if you can keep up the conversation threads that is.

Before the live video & chat I set off in search of an updated understanding of Best Buy and their version of  sustainability. If you want to read their full report yourself click here to be taken to the Best Buy Fiscal 2011 Sustainability Report website and provided with a clear and well presented report, if a little light on raw data to interpret yourself. Not an integrated report by any means and nothing earth shattering impressive but a decent commitment delivered in an accessible manner. The school report would say Continue reading

CSR To Save UK Economy?

The UK loses upwards of £17bn per year on poor employee engagement.

Both the post’s headline and the statement above should attract your attention, and hopefully they are reinforced further by the latest research by LeapCR.

It’s always been a difficult sell into UK businesses that allowing employees to take paid leave add tangible value in subsequent productivity, but the evidence is mounting. Employee volunteering is one of the big cultural differences between the US and UK’s versions of Corporate Social Responsibility.

In my home country (UK) there has traditionally been far more inertia against management seeing the benefits in encouraging and brokering volunteering opportunities. To be fair it hasn’t just been the private sector, our voluntary sector also needs to up its game in promoting the benefits, but it is getting better thanks to reports such as this.

In the report out today it says: Continue reading

New Guide to CSR for Small & Medium Businesses

Twitter yet again demonstrates its power to unearth a nugget of information.

I found a link to a launch of a new CSR guide for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Anybody or anything that grasps the Corporate Social Responsibility for smaller businesses nettle gets kudos from me.

I’ve got to say overall it is not bad at all. The information is accessible to the audience it’s trying to reach, i.e. owner / managers and employees, and it’s presented in a style that is easy on the eye.

The information contained is deep enough for a complete novice and also those who have done some homework on Google. Each individual thematic area takes a very  similar approach to ours at Coethica by offering a 3 stage roadmap of initial quick wins, medium term opportunities and longer term challenges to get businesses on board whilst encouraging them to delve deeper and invest further time and resource. Continue reading

Will ISO 26000 Change The World?

After six years of consultation and development, Geneva saw the launch of ISO 26000 yesterday.

ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility to be exact. Please note the word ‘Guidance‘, that is, this is not a certifiable standard.

In an industry already accelerating toward burgeoning crowds of standards, rankings and frameworks, all of undulating degrees of credibility and usefulness, it feels to me like this new kid on the block will receive a subdued welcome.

According to ISO the aim is to “provide harmonized, globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organizations of all types based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups, and so encourage the implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide.” Which sounds decidedly like death either by committee or all-things-to-everybody-syndrome to me. Continue reading

Coethica’s new CSR training, mentoring and SME Academy

Apologies for the infrequent posting but the epic scale plate-spinning behind the scenes is beginning to bear fruit!

Globe and book pictureAnd here’s a taster of things to come…

…Warning! – This is an unashamed but humble request for critical feedback.

Back at the day job at Coethica were close to formally launching Coethica Training,  a new suite of Corporate Social Responsibility training and mentoring services and me being the perfectionist that I am, I’d appreciate any brutally honest opinion by those inclined to comment. Continue reading

Microsoft’s CSR Accelerator Summit

Steve Ballmer at Microsoft Accelerator Summit

It’s easy to forget just how pervasive Microsoft’s reach is from Xbox to Office or their effect on everybody’s lives over the past 35 years.

Ok, they may have lost market value top dog status to Apple, market share in the internet browser sector or have harbingers of doom awaiting the monster to fall as the Cloud approaches, but with competition such as Google acting like a righteous teenager, Facebook playing like a petulant child and Apple’s aspirations heading toward megalomania with their use of applications to control content, Microsoft could be said to be enjoying a somewhat more mature appearance by comparison of late, and that might just be their hidden weapon. Continue reading