Tag Archives: social enterprise

How Can You Change The World Through Entrepreneurship?

Innovation Women Business Start UpSometimes projects appear like rabbits being pulled from a magician’s hat. You’re led to think there’s nothing in there and then hey presto, a cute ball of fluff gets dragged out by the ears.

Usually though, you plan like crazy, target your market and go hell for leather building a sales pipeline to regularly still miss out on the fun prizes that you really want. Hands up if you know what I mean? Good. Most of you.

Considerably less often such opportunities find you with a handful of carrots, an empty hutch, a yearning to breed bunnies, and all in your own backyard.

I can’t share too much quite yet, and my usual exuberance is again obviously overriding my (and others who will shout at me) sense of caution here, but I wanted to quickly reach out to those of you I’ve encountered over many years with a similar mindset.

Here’s the thing…
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Natural Born Social Good Evangelist

Moderating at Lundquist CSR Online Awards, Milan 2014.

 

It’s time to stop over-thinking and speed up the doing, and change is in the air.

Nine years after escaping the carnival that is the business of sport, with many, many commercial lessons learned, and a tough personal 12 months, the moment I hit the ‘Publish’ button a new era begins.

No huge upfront fanfare at this point, merely a few noticeable differences to the way things will be done around these and associated online and offline parts.

The short version is that the original experiment that was Coethica both excellently failed and stealthily succeeded. I did begin the introspection behind the evolution two years ago and the headline (underlined in bold) awakening was that I was an explorer, communicator, evangelist and educator that hardly ever got to play to my personal strengths.

Not great for business. Not good for me. Not any more.

The experiment with social media worked way beyond my wildest dreams creating multiple exciting, and often distracting new tangents, which ironically should have been a bigger part of the direction from the beginning.

So now with a personal account overflowing with social capital from 17 years of a wildly varied social good career that includes over 6 years of social media curation, content creation, network building and engagement, it’s time to spread my wings further, aim higher and fly faster.

I’ll be able to share the new clients and projects soon but I should mention I’d love to have one or two more technology companies in the new communications based portfolio.

Business needs to step up its game and here’s a few examples of what you see me doing differently.

  • As a brand ambassador / evangelist
  • Speaking and moderating at events
  • Supporting world-changing non/low-profits

… all with a stronger focus on leadership, education and innovation.

Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be more formally announcing the new services, and new clients, and I’d really appreciate your support by adding your knowledge to any best practice and thought leadership I find and share on my increasing travels through all things social good (including CSR, sustainability, social enterprise, non-profits etc).

To find out how I can help your organisation or for speaking engagements send me a direct email via david.connor@coethica.com or get in touch via Twitter at @davidcoethica.

 

 

 

Being Good is Not Overrated

Despicable-Me-PosterYes, I can muster a pretty impressive Meeeester Gru impression. My son may not agree, but hey, it makes me laugh.

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 it 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!

CSR = Your Better (Small) Business

YBB logo

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.

Definitely worth further investigation via the Your Better Business website and via Twitter at @betterexchange

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.”

@YourBigYear

Charities Need to Increase Overheads

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?

Check out Dan Pallota’s webpage / Twitter profile @DanPallota for more information

Are You A Small Business Communications Expert?

 

Do you have experience in CSR, social enterprise, business advice, marketing, PR, human resources – or just about any other aspect of business operation?

Better CSR Advice for SMEsCan you offer any insight on small business CSR communications?

I’m off to Berlin next week to co-host a workshop on CSR communications at an invite only conference not-so-snappily called ‘Better CSR Advice for SMEs‘. 100 small business advisers from across the EU (only 3 from the whole UK was a surprise but I’m glad to have got one of Brussels funded Willy Wonka tickets) are preparing to gather to network, share and take away the latest practice back to their home towns.

We only have a hopeful a mere 45 minutes throughout a 24 hour event to explore what I consider to be the most important topic in the small business / CSR debate, and I’m hoping to take as much ammunition in with me as possible.

What are the key questions? What are the key answers?

 

  • How do we educate small businesses about the benefits of CSR?
  • Who should do it?
  • What are the best ways for SMEs to communicate to their boards, employees, suppliers, customers and local media?
  • What resources are available to help SMEs get their messages out?
  • What are the current communication trends to be exploited?
  • Which SMEs are already good a communicating?

 

Please head over to the blog post on the Coethica website to get the full story & submit your feedback and share this link with your networks.

 

I’ll report back after the event to share the workshop discussions.