Tag Archives: leadership

Could Weakness Become Your Opportunity?

A lesson in the art of vulnerability, or how to click with your ‘date’ using Corporate Social Responsibility.


One of those socially invisible bleached out pachyderms insists that companies should constantly defend a cloak of presented perfectionism. As the corporate communications functions of businesses tentatively emerge, like the first struggling amphibians out of the water from the control and broadcast mentality, we are seeing fascinating case studies and pockets of enlightenment.

Does anybody believe businesses are perfect? Does anybody think they even come close, ever? The countless surveys and reports on reputation and brand perception suggest Continue reading

Why Women Are Crucial For Greater Economic Growth

A date for your diaries…

3BLchat imageJoin me next Wednesday (27 August at 3.30pm ET) as I step into the host’s seat again for the latest #3BLchat exploring Women’s Economic Empowerment.

I’ll be taking over the @3BLMedia Twitter handle to guide very special guests Melanne Verveer (Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security), Katy Knox (Senior Vice President, Bank of America) and 3BL Media’s very own COO & Co-Founder Cindy Schneider.

We’ll be spending 60 minutes focusing on:

  • How women-owned businesses have become an increasingly important part of economic growth
  • Existing obstacles that women entrepreneurs face including equitable access to affordable loans, and business and leadership networks
  • Programs and resources to help women entrepreneurs grow successful businesses
  • How mentorship can play a role in opening girls up, globally, to an alternative future


Follow this link for more information and how to register your place.


Apple’s Best Advert Yet?

Yes, this is just an employee engagement video, but it’s also an Apple employee engagement video.

I wonder how many customers (and more importantly potential customers) felt that little bit more emotionally connected to a brand that has historically pretty much kept its head below the social and environmental parapet.

“Inclusion inspires innovation”

It is also further evidence of a company becoming being increasingly comfortable being seen in the CSR space. By adding a deeper values element to their brand Apple are on a dangerous trajectory of becoming a truly inspirational operation. It looks like Tim Cook is truly getting his feet under the big table.

That’s two responsibility videos in three months now! Cautious optimism grows.

Oh, and there’s a great soundtrack too.


Want To Be A Global Ambassador for Social Good?

yby_gew_cmykAre you planning a trip around the world to meet leaders and make our society a better place to live? No? Why not?

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.”


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…

News: Corporate Social Responsibility Needs Real Leadership

Corporate Social Responsibility is in desperate need of real leadership, according to Will Marré, acclaimed speaker and CEO of REALeadership Alliance. While addressing business leaders at University of California San Diego Marré stated, “We are living in a time of immense challenges. It’s an era that begs for the wisdom of real leaders. Leaders who have the moral imagination to empathize with unborn generations who will inherit our legacy.”

Is CSR Evolving?

In a recent blog by Stefan Stern on the Financial Times Management Blog site he flamboyantly described his lack of enthusiasm for the more superficial side of CSR. I’d like to think of myself firmly in the ‘serious CSR type’ category and not in the ‘crowd of burbling do-gooders’. After a couple of days of reflection, I now consider Stefan’s words reassuring and hopeful. Mallen Baker presented an excellent reply and recognised by Stefan on the blog.

My initial interpretation placed the blog on the ‘CSR is bad’ side of the fence. Most opinions on CSR are usually polarised, you get used to that but after a couple of reads through I feel much more positive.

Let’s get one thing straight, I am an eternal optimist and pretend to be little else. I’m also a perfectionist and often find compromise difficult and here’s my prediction, based very firmly in commercial reality, for the future of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The global economic crisis will change the way the financial world operates albeit probably not as much as the now unemployed Joe Public wants. Climate Change and population growth will affect our individual lifestyles in an ever more pervasive manner whatever we do today, tomorrow or anytime during our own lives. Attitudes and behaviour are going to have to alter, most likely against our wishes at home and at work. CSR, Corporate Citizenship, Sustainability and all flavours in-between  or whatever it is called in the future will move slowly, inevitably, even possibly imperceptibly up the priority ladder.

I can forsee the proliferation of an evolved, embedded and accountable CSR approach by the private sector (corporations and SMEs) through legislation, leadership, enterprise and common sense. The whole agenda is still immature in its development if we’re honest with ourselves and we are only now beginning to see the required volume and credibility of data to reinforce the proposition through to mainstream consideration. The phrase ‘Tipping Point’ has been spotted in amongst a number of CSR and Sustainability related documents over the past couple of years and I’m particularly interested in its association with quantity and quality of evidence this has been applied to.

Without doubt there are many businesses that are in it for superficial reasons but should we really care? I rather they did the right thing for the wrong reasons than not do anything at all. Time will convert them, Darwin says so.