Thursday, May 25, 2006

Importance of Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)has been hotly debated topic where a lot of companies pay less emphasis on. A new trend is developing among companies to better align CSR activities with corporate strategies and those activities can be called as Strategic CSR activities.

Strategic CSR is all about aligning corporate goals and strategies with the CSR activities that the particular company is carrying out. Generally Strategic CSR will improve the companys impression among shareholders. Companies which are better at strategic CSR are perceived as highly credible entities. This helps organisations in many ways. The reputation gained could help companies when raising funds through equity sales or other financing activities.

Mr Ravi Fernando, (Director Corporate Branding and CSR of MAS holdings Sri Lanka - http://www.masholdings.com) delivered a presentation on this very same topic at the University of Colombo, Residential MBA Workshop. The workshop was held atthe Villa Ocean View Hotel in Wadduwa Sri Lanka on the 29th and 30th of April.

One of the major topics of discussion during that presentation was how Sri Lanka could better promote its garment exports while facing the increased competition from China and India.Sri Lanka could promote itself as a garment manufacturing country which is socially responsible while highlighting two key strengths

1. No Child labour used ( Unlike in China , Vietnam and other East Asian Countries )
2. Empowers Woman in making apparel ( When China and other East Asian Countries exploit women )

There was also some mention about some companies who lost credibility and market share due to socially irresponsible activities. Such companies are

1. Nike for using child labour
2. Mitsubishi Motors for making faulty cars

Additional companies that I can recall are

3. Bridgestone For making faulty Firestone tires which were used in Ford SUVs

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jonathan Schwartz spars with Gartner

The debate was hot as to whether Sun Microsystems would be able to show a sustainable profit with the current business model. Suns newly appointed CEO Jonathan Schawarz disputes the claims by Gartner Analysts by claiming that growth of Infrastructure will bring cash inflows to Sun. However I believe Sun’s dependency on infrastructure solutions will increasingly become less viable due to growing competition from other major vendors. Sun should think about generating more revenue from the popularity it already has in the community, the growing usage of Java based applications. Why not compete with Apple iPod, and produce something similar, which is far reaching and more affordable and most importantly more open? But the challenge here is as to how to build a business model to generate revenues while all those above mentioned qualities are being upheld !

� Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz spars with Gartner analysts Between the Lines ZDNet.com

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Art of Framing

The way you perceive your competitors actions might very well decide your future course of actions in an organization. However if you start to see the lighter side of the things you will be more free to be creative. I encountered the following article from the Harvard Business School website which is very interesting

Disruption: The Art of Framing : HBS Working Knowledge
Yale School of Management: Leaders Forum 2004-2005 Speakers

Monday, May 08, 2006