The decisions your organisation makes today will affect how people see your company for years to come.
If you haven’t noticed, the team at IMPACT are passionate about two things. Firstly, we’re about empowering women (we just celebrated 21 years of girl power and were shortlisted as a Best Employer in the B&T Women in Media Awards). The second is that we’re passionate about looking after the planet for future generations. The decisions we make about how we work, and who we work with, have been guided by these two principles.
We’re also big believers in doing what is right.
Last year a number of media reports highlighted atrocities within the horse racing community. Similar to the greyhound racing industry a couple of years before, racehorses were being abused and slaughtered.
So we said ‘Nup the Cup’ and we’re doing the same again this year. Our decision has been reinforced with more stories last week suggesting the slaughter of unwanted thoroughbreds is continuing.
The IMPACT agency works with Boards and C-level executives to help them identify where the values of leaders intersect with those held by their employees, customers and partners. Any mismatch will be apparent, and all credibility will be lost. You can’t say one thing and do another.
Business leaders must ensure their values are in alignment with those of the organisation and its stakeholders so that their message remains consistent.
Corporations are judged by how they treat their employees, customers, communities, shareholders and the environment. Most Australian CEOs have approached the pandemic with incredible empathy – they have done the right thing by their people and their communities.
But now that we’re out of lockdown there is a huge opportunity for leaders to either start afresh or continue on their path to a ‘better normal’.
The IMPACT CEO Activism model:
- Deep dive into what’s really important to stakeholders; employees, shareholders and customers
- Explore the organisation’s purpose and values, and what leaders want to be known for today
- Measure stakeholder sentiment against organisational values and CEO values and issues of importance
- Track conversations and discussions to determine point of entry and understand the external environment
- Bespoke toolkit and framework for the CEO to seed authentic conversations
Just Capital, an independent research firm founded by the billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, recently evaluated and ranked 928 US companies on the extent to which they champion diversity, equity and inclusion, pay employees a decent wage, and take steps to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The top 100 companies (the Just 100) demonstrate that purpose and profit can go hand in hand by delivering value to all their stakeholders. These companies:
- Had 56% higher total shareholder return over the past five years
- Are six times more likely to have set diversity targets
- Pay 18% more to their median workers
- Use 123% more green energy
- Had a 7.2% higher return on equity
- Emit 86% fewer tons of PM 2.5 emissions into the atmosphere
- Give six times more to charitable causes
- Are 4.7 times more likely to have conducted a gender or race/ethnicity pay equity analysis
In Australia and New Zealand, B Corps (Certified B Corporations), businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance and public transparency, have grown significantly in recent years (a 2019 report uncovering a seven-fold increase in local B Corps over five years). And 27 B Corps in the Australian and New Zealand region are in the top 10 percentile of B Corps worldwide.
The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the shift towards responsible capitalism and leaders have been given permission to be more themselves. Those that succeed will lead with trust, optimism and empathy.
And consistency will be key. All stakeholders – workers, customers, communities and shareholders – will be watching you, your language and your actions. If they are not in line with who they thought you were, then they will decide what to do about the mismatch with their feet (and their wallets).
Note: Slaughtering racehorses is not illegal in Australia. But it is against the rules of Racing NSW, which stipulate that retired racehorses must be rehomed, not sent for slaughter.