The forum we recently hosted with Oxford's Said Business School started with the question, "Can a company do well by doing good?" We were driven to approach this with discipline and real world data, supplemented by the experience and viewpoints of executives with responsibility for profit and sustainable performance.
We are pleased to make the case studies and presentations from that forum available, and hope this information can inspire new ideas and business models.
The Forum was based on a series of cases that describe specific examples of the ways in which companies have attempted to adopt responsible approaches to business. Responsible companies in this context satisfy two criteria: (a) they expound explicit purposes or values that reflect objectives beyond pure financial performance, and (b) they demonstrate a serious commitment to implementing them through their ownership, governance, leadership, and management practices. These cases were presented in three sessions:
- Driving purpose from the top down. In this session companies pursue value-driven work via a mandate from leadership, integrating social practices through the business from the top down.
- Purposeful finance. In this session the featured case studies are focused on building the business through increasing financial inclusivity and access to banking. The session also looks at ethical investing and how to use investment to improve the lives of those living in poverty.
Driving purpose from the bottom up. The case studies in this session are experimenting with innovative social programmes via business piloting, feeding information back into the main business to influence change from the bottom up.
Images source: Said Business School