The Era of Corporate Social Responsibility is Ending | Rachel Hutchisson | TEDxWilmington



I've spent the past 25 years passionately building a career in corporate social responsibility but by the time I retire what I do for a living will be archived outdated done because corporate social responsibility is already on its way to being replaced by human social responsibility now you might be wondering have I told my boss this yet Here I am doing everything I can to scale corporate social responsibility at the company where I work and I'm up here telling you that my profession is gonna be a goner the answer is yes I have told my boss and he agrees so let me give you a little bit of context here I run corporate social responsibility for a technology company that powers the business of philanthropy which means I work in a setting every day that's all about giving back both through what we do is a business and what we care about as people you might think that building this program has been a lot of fun and it has but it also hasn't been easy and I say that because traditionally corporate social responsibility has been for the big guys the fortune 500 companies with the capacity to invest in staff and programs there are a lot of companies out there that aren't big does that mean that they don't care about giving back of course not so I've come to learn that the focus on corporate which was once a vanguard idea is actually a problem why do I think this two reasons one the focus on corporate is limiting did you know that more than 70% of all people who work for business in America work for small to midsize businesses they work for enterprises that are anything but corporate this might sound picky but when you have a professional area that's all about giving back and being a good corporate citizen that has corporate at it's very very heart you're leaving a lot of people without a seat at the table you're putting up barriers with the very language you use that says this is not for you now I have an important confession to make I have a fundamental belief in my life that good is for everyone it's for my 16 year old son and my 81 year old father it's for small businesses and nonprofits and governments and every other kind of social or commercial concern it is for all of us and we need to stop thinking that only certain types of organizations are capable of being wired for good now I graduated from college and what I like to call the Gordon Gekko greed is good era where if you wanted to make money you went into business and if you wanted to make a difference you went to work for a non-profit or baby you got an MPA but the world has changed my son Sam is headed to college next week knowing he has so many options so many paths with how he makes his mark as a global citizen that makes me happy and optimistic about the world now I said I had two reasons why the focus on corporate is a problem and the second is that it reinforces this idea of corporations as faceless monoliths to me regardless of the size or structure people are at the heart of every organization we as humans bring life to the vision and purpose of every organization we provide the oxygen and the wits that makes everything people today bring their whole selves to work when I step out of my Prius in the morning and I walk up the path and into the lobby I do so as a complete person as a daughter who recently lost a mother as a mother who's sending her son off to college as the member of a community that is struggling to deal with the racial hate crime as a board member who cares deeply about nonprofit governance and yes as a professional my colleagues are the same we each sign our own human contracts with the world and they don't stay in the car with the registration and proof of insurance they are written in indelible ink and they are interwoven in our daily DNA we bring who we are and what we stand for to our work every day this rising up of our collective daily DNA is ageless and it is for everyone so let's get practical here how can you get involved in this shift from corporate social responsibility to human social responsibility and maybe help it happen a little bit faster it's all about a balancing act between your people and your community take your cue from your people this is the secret sauce and it has three simple ingredients know what they care about put them at the center of your giving and empower them as agents of good now I'm not saying that you have to forget your organization's purpose but don't make the mistake of ignoring theirs their social good story is your social good story have the courage to go on a journey together to create space that allows them to teach you take your cue from your community however you define that word know what it cares about put it at the center of your giving partner in doing good when you do this right this marriage of people and community your brand can fit right there in the mix the more you know your people and your community the more you can align your goals and you know you're doing it right when people are coming to you with ideas when it's organic when they're leading from where they stand when they're being what my organization calls being heart plus smart that's the endgame when you focus on human instead of corporate your brand actually gains in stature you become more real you become more relevant so we're from here we each have a choice a choice about how we walk through life about how we lead the organizations we care about this is my call to leadership if good truly is for everyone we must keep the human component central I want you not only to understand this but to join me to grow the power of your people to embrace their human contracts and help our collective daily DNA do more good thank you you




Comments
  1. I'm not sure if she understood what corporate social responsibility stands for. She's the VP of Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy. Those two things are very very much outdated to count as CSR.
    From someone who has more than a decade of experience in that field it's not a good TED talk.

  2. Corporate social responsibility is actually ending because the large corporations have so much money, and have bought off so many political parties, and have stacked so many major courts, that they don't have to be responsible any more. We have no power left. Every agreement you sign now has a forced arbitration clause, and class action lawsuits are soon to be made illegal. The ONLY power we have is to stop buying what they are selling.

  3. Her confession was a statement.
    I like the way she "plugs" in her Prius.

    CSR is being abused and manipulative towards profits.
    I need an extra 15.00 a week for cashiers asking for a dollar for this and that fundraiser.
    Also puts an unethical pressure on all the cashiers who don't have the time to explain the purpose. It's driven with speed and guilt. That's unethical… that's not good for everyone.

  4. 'Good is for everyone' lol. A wonderful lie the middle class tell themselves. If single parenting, drug addiction, homelessness and being marginalized effected the middle to upper classes things would change overnight…but sadly it doesn't, and this women is selling a lie.

  5. Is it ethical for managers of a company who want to give to a charity using the money of their shareholders instead of their own money. How about letting the shareholders get their dividends back and give to charities of their choosing? Some of these corporations give to' charities' that some of their shareholders would consider quite loathsome like the Southern Poverty Law Center or Planned Parenthood.

    If an initiative is good for the shareholders, helps grow the brand for example, helps grow an industry that the company is a part of, or if it is a way of making restitution for company operations that have harmed the public in some way, it makes sense. Contributions up to the extent they can be deducted from corporate taxes makes sense in countries that allow this, provided these are charities that shareholders can agree on.

    CSR can actually be unethical. It's easy to give other people's money away. I saw a news program in which a man who stole credit card numbers made a donation to poor starving children. The difference is he outright stole the credit card number as opposed to using a position as a steward to give away other people's money.

  6. I call BS. Corporations and their puppets are masters at the game of presenting their problems as yours. 😉

  7. Its a partnership that we have to move to.. Those on the ground have a better idea of what's happening.. People-Planet-Product

  8. Good day I am doing an investigation on Corporate Social Responsibility, soon it will be a qualitative scientific thesis but I would like to receive your advice and suggestions on a subject involved in CSR that needs more study. Thank you in advance for your valuable time.

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