The Top 10 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders

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The Top 10 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders

By: Gala Gorman

The assets of your business traditionally include property, plant, equipment, and your customer base. Progressive organizations understand that business assets also include their good reputation, responsiveness to change, the ability to conduct a constructive dialogue with stakeholders, the ability to take advantage of networked resources, and a host of other non-traditional assets. Companies are increasingly adopting socially responsible business practices based on sustainable development to ensure efficiency, stimulate innovation, and create top-line growth. This "new" approach to business must reach into every area of the organization to ensure that goals and objectives are in alignment with the mission. To begin the discovery process, ask yourself these questions:

Leadership

1.) Is the organization managed with an emphasis on being socially progressive? Today's progressive organization understands what it means to be socially responsible and how that contributes to the welfare of the organization. Leadership must prioritize values and initiatives and incorporate them into the agenda in a way that is in harmony with the overall objectives of the organization. At this point, this "new" agenda must be communicated so that all concerned can progress it forward.

2.) Does the organization operate using a cost vs. benefit approach taking into consideration intrinsic and consequential costs/benefits? Some may think that emphasizing social responsibility will be a financial drain on the organization too great to overcome. If that were the case, there would be no case for this new approach to management. Costs must be weighed against benefits - not just obvious costs or benefits. Benefits include increased productivity, customer loyalty, innovation, and countless others.

3.) Are the finances of the operation managed to ensure long-term prosperity for all concerned? Risk is inherent in the business world. A business must invest in itself and its future, evaluating the risk of experimentation and development. Without continuing investment the organization is sure to stagnate, with too much emphasis on growth and development there is an abundance of waste. The organization just can't keep up. To establish long-term prosperity, the financial plan must emphasize growth in a sustainable way.

Branding

4.) Are printed marketing materials and packaging designed to minimally impact the environment? This is a great way to get the process started. Evaluating how the company presents itself in the marketplace can provide immediate opportunities to progress the social responsibility agenda. Making appropriate modifications to packaging is a quick way to gain some exposure and momentum. The entire life cycle of production materials and packaging should be considered and designs modified to minimize the environmental impact.

5.) How has product development served to foster innovation and take advantage of advanced technology? The progressive organization is continually improving its processes, systems, and designs. Competition is fast to respond, so there is no time to sit around and wait for the next move. The services or products produced must always be ready to evolve to the next level of usefulness. With an infrastructure that prioritizes creativity and innovation, the company is always ahead of the pack.

6.) Does the organization strive to get to know and understand its customers and their needs? The socially responsible organization recognizes that it must contribute to the welfare of its customers and meet needs in a way that improves their lives. Sometimes this improvement is highly visible and other times you must stretch a bit to fully comprehend it. Either way, there should be identifiable positive results for customers choosing to make use of the organization's products or services.

Operations

7.) Are individuals encouraged to increase competency and enhance their skill set to better serve the socially responsible organization? An organization's people are one of its greatest assets. Each staff member has the potential to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. From the front line to top management, the organization's people must be encouraged to participate directly in strategic thinking and progressing the agenda. Staff should be encouraged and rewarded for pursuing professional development opportunities that make them more valuable and versatile.

8.) What considerations were incorporated into the organization's facilities to stimulate creativity? The work environment contributes positively or negatively to productivity and creativity. The organization's people spend the majority of their waking hours in the workplace. There is a tremendous opportunity to use this time to stimulate the creative process and establish an environment that fosters harmonious interactions. From color schemes, to ergonomic furniture, or the use of advanced technology, the organization's facilities should be given appropriate consideration.

9.) How has technology been employed to bring the organization closer to its customers, suppliers, and internal resources? The world wide web has reduced our farthest neighbor to the "boy next door". We have the ability to provide our customers, suppliers and internal concerns with access to information and a convenient method of communication that 10 years ago would not have been imagined. Customers and suppliers are literally a click away. By using technology wisely, we can provide them with the information they need to help us serve them better or vice versa.

Global Impact

10.) Has the organization studied and demonstrated that it understands how it contributes to the global marketplace? Every organization contributes to the global marketplace in some way. There is a chain of influence that needs to be understood to fully embrace the importance of incorporating social responsibility initiatives into an organization's mission. You can begin by tracing your product or service as it moves through its life cycle. As you begin to recognize how even a small change can accumulate and make a global difference, you will be inspired to take an intentional first step towards social responsibility.

The Top 10 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders have been excerpted from a FREE Report "40 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders" available at http://www.WholisticBusiness.com. At Wholistic Business, we believe that business literally makes the world go around. It will be business owners and managers that will ultimately change the world for the better. By incorporating a new set of values and priorities into what has proven to be a successful formula on many levels, we believe that business will be the platform for a new agenda - the Social Responsibility Agenda.

Regardless of the size of your business, you make a contribution to the global marketplace that impacts humanity with a rippling effect. As an organization's leader, you choose whether that ripple will be felt positively or negatively. Even a small movement or change in a socially responsible direction can have a dramatic effect. Every day produces a new opportunity for change!

About The Author

Wholistic Business (http://www.WholisticBusiness.com), a division of MetaComm International, LLC, is committed to assisting organizations in developing socially responsible business practices with a keen eye on productivity and profitability. Gala Gorman, MetaComm's CEO, holds a Master's Degree in Human Development, is a certified public accountant, certified financial planner, published author, executive coach and business consultant with 25 years of experience.


gala@metacommintl.com

Comments

bob 16.12.2009. 02:16

looking for a business person to answer some questions plz :)? have to interview some type of businessperson for introduction to business...

1. What is your business background?

2. What was your career path? (Or, how did you get where you are?)

3. Describe your job duties.

4. Does the state of the economy affect your business? If so, how?

5. Do you feel that your product/service fulfills a want or a need? (Not yes or no, which one.)

6. What kind of records do you need to keep?

7. How is your business organized: as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, a cooperative, or a franchise? Do you think that this type of organization causes you to do things differently than you would in another type of organization?

8. Do any of your job duties involve financial management? If so, what are those duties?

9. Does your business complete financial reports? What kind and how often do you need to prepare them?

10. Does your business have a marketing theme or philosophy?

11. What kinds of advertising do you use?

12. Does your business have a separate marketing department? If not, who is responsible for marketing?

13. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction?

14. Does your business have a code of ethics? What are ethical expectations for employees?

15. What kind of legal issues have you had to address?

16. Does your business try to be socially responsible? For example, contributing to charities or schools, participating in community events, involving the community in decisions, etc.

17. Does your business deal with any international issues?

18. What kind of careers would be available in this line of business?

19. How much education/training is required to work in this environment?

20. Is technology widely used by your business? What percentage of employees in the business would you estimate need to use computers?

(tell me about these)
Managerial duties-


Leadership style-


Advice for entering the business world-


Human resources- hiring, firing, training-




thx a lot :)

yea the interview part of my assignment is due thursday....oh and can you also mention your name and where you are from..so i can include this in my paper? :) ty

bob

Admin 16.12.2009. 02:16

1. What is your business background? MBA

2. What was your career path? (Or, how did you get where you are?) Shifting careers from profesional MD to have degrees on Law and Business, i think i love business ..

3. Describe your job duties. Human resources and business management general duties, (This need alot of writing , just you will find that in any business book )

4. Does the state of the economy affect your business? If so, how? Sure.. if the economy is slow it affect my customers, and their spending hapits, = lower revenue, = Lower sales = lowering employees hours = less spending = we buy less= affecting other companies (our vendors as well) = vicious circle .

5. Do you feel that your product/service fulfills a want or a need? (Not yes or no, which one.) fullfil both .. we carry alot of variety of stuff which fulfil a want and a need.. "No business secrets or ID"

6. What kind of records do you need to keep? The regular business records which is a must for any running business

7. How is your business organized: as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, a cooperative, or a franchise? Do you think that this type of organization causes you to do things differently than you would in another type of organization? Every kind of organizations somehow or another would do the main things same way .. except for Sole proprietorship which might be lower or less in time and resources in decision making..

8. Do any of your job duties involve financial management? If so, what are those duties? yes.. and it is a long survey .. this could be only one question in yahoo answers for each of yours..

9. Does your business complete financial reports? What kind and how often do you need to prepare them? our financial Dept. run that

10. Does your business have a marketing theme or philosophy?
To be one of the top USA leaders in our market by 2017 (With us you are the ...our theme......... ) the marketing theme)


11. What kinds of advertising do you use? Newspapres/ radio / TV/ sales campaigns / etc...

12. Does your business have a separate marketing department? If not, who is responsible for marketing? yes

13. How do you evaluate customer satisfaction? Surveys, and feedback systems through our local outlets / stores

14. Does your business have a code of ethics? What are ethical expectations for employees? LOL (this is out of the survey / interview) "Don't shit where you eat"

15. What kind of legal issues have you had to address? regular business legal issues..

16. Does your business try to be socially responsible? For example, contributing to charities or schools, participating in community events, involving the community in decisions, etc. ..... SURE

17. Does your business deal with any international issues? .. Nope

18. What kind of careers would be available in this line of business? business, inventions / designers / and associates

19. How much education/training is required to work in this environment? 4-8 weeks

20. Is technology widely used by your business? What percentage of employees in the business would you estimate need to use computers? 2-5%


Hope that help

Thank you and good luck ..

Admin

Brendan G 16.12.2007. 03:28

Do You Agree With Mike Huckabee that it's time to "take back America for Christ"? Shoudn't it disturb you in a nation which professes religious freedom?

http://atheism.about.com/b/a/259439.htm

Brendan G

Admin 16.12.2007. 03:28

I am a native Arkansan who is stunned to realize that he has achieved any prominence or consideration to be the leader of the United States. It scares me, quite frankly. His legacy and record are all slick rhetoric followed by pandering to a fundamentalist fan base.

His "covenant marriage act" that he lauded as such a wonderful victory for families is now chosen by a miniscule number of new couples marrying beause of the hardships it places on women in abusive relationships seeking divorce!

http://marriage.about.com/od/covenantmarriage/Covenant_Marriage.htm < read here about covenant marriages and the pitfalls


Here are some pages to check Huckabee's record. http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/huckabees_fiscal_record.html ( also do a search on Huckabee at factcheck and these items appear:
Huckabee claimed he would ?abolish the IRS.? He failed to mention that he?d replace it with another big tax bureaucracy.
Huckabee said he had proposed to make children of illegal aliens eligible for Arkansas scholarships if they "had been in our schools their entire school life.? Actually, the proposal required only three years in Arkansas schools.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee praised a "fair tax" but failed to note that it would ease the burden on the richest Americans while imposing a stiff retail sales tax of perhaps 34 percent. Whether thie proposal he said he supported is "fair" or not is of course a matter of opinion. In fact, President Bush's bipartisan Advisory Panel on Tax Reform rejected the idea, saying it would substantially increase taxes for 80 percent of U.S. taxpayers while benefiting those at the top. The panel calculated that a sales tax would have to be set at 34 percent of retail sales prices to bring in the same revenue as the taxes it would replace, meaning that an automobile with a retail price of $10,000 would cost $13,400 including the new sales tax.


LOOK HERE also to see if what he supported in 2002 is what you want for your president..( He refused to answer the questions to these issues again in 2007) http://votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=1657 < Project Vote Smart

Here it indicates when given the choices of supporting either k) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
or
l) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
He chose the abstinence only sexual education program.
I went to school in the 60s and 70s and we learned about STD's THEN! I can recall learning that a girl in my very own class figured out she HAD an STD from watching the film in high school that taught about it. I cannot imagine a responsible parent, yet alone responsible leader not wanting a populace that is educated about our own bodies.

Is he afraid if children and teens learn about contraception and STDs that it encourages sex in that population? ( if so, he is also too ignorant to be the leader of the U.S. )

Can the U.S. afford a President whose science literacy is so low that he believes that creationism is a legitimate *alternative* to a scientific theory?

For a time I just wrote off the popularity of Huckabee among the vocal Christian conservatives in Arkansas a reflection of our states lower educational and economic status..but now that I see his rise in popularity in the general populace it downright terrifies me to think I live in a nation that is heading into the dark ages, educationally, socially and morally.

It feels like the right wing agenda is leading our nation to hell in a handbasket and all I can do is look on with horror.

If this is an episode of the Twilight Zone, I sure need a commercial break about now.

Admin

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