Leaders from all over the world are gathering in New York for the ICPD conference, which has been ranked for the fifth consecutive year among the world’s top ten executive events. This is the 8th year of this international advocacy day and during the New York meeting, participants will be discussing how to mobilize business around societal issues, sharing best practices and developing partnerships with the mission to reach more strategic and effective societal investments.
The event is initiated by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) – an international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons who aim to raise the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Attendances include over 70 leading global CEOs, including more than 20 from Global 500 or Fortune 500 companies, who will gather to discuss this year’s theme “Business at its Best: Maximizing Long-Term Profitability and Societal Impact”. Focus this year lies on overcoming the challenges corporations face as they reorient their businesses to engage in helping solve societal issues.
To give you an idea of how big this event is: United States President Barack Obama has sent a letter of support to business leaders in recognition of ICPD, saying:
“By offering their skills, time, financial support, and creativity to causes greater than themselves, generous corporate philanthropists strengthen our communities and enrich our lives.”
(News published at 28.02.2011 – Source: http://blog.enorm-magazin.com/)
We talk very much today about change. The question is: change old methods or change old goals? Change by replacing mindsets with other mindsets or change by upgrading and uplifting mindsets – as we can’t change who we are, but we surely can uplift, upgrade and improve ourselves?!
The theme of such event is not: “Society at its best: maximizing long term societal impact and profits” –as it should be as the present tense continuous realities require it and as the title message suggests (common good, philanthropy)- it is “Business at its best: maximizing long term profits and societal impact”. The difference is huge as the main accent and concern is the old goal of maximizing business and profits as top priority using a common good message. And this is saying very much about our today’s leadership – about its ability to “change”.
Business is good, profit is good – but the main challenge today is not how to make it, but how to make it and be right at the same time? How to bridge the gap between good and right in order to achieve the best highest impact balance point between profits and societal issues?
In my view – the only change we must make is a change of goals by adjusting better our objectives. Methods and systems automatically and naturally will adapt the renewed goals!
Life and economy are following nature’s rules: they behave in cycles. We should re-learn how to start acting and reacting naturally, as we became very unnatural. We can’t act against nature – that only means we act against ourselves, or if we wrongly chose to act this way – we take the risks of such approach.
The “easiest” way to do that is to start doing what we say loud to people by using words and phrases and if we act in the name of common good to make sure we orient our business actions towards the common good in a balanced manner, to better adjust our actions with our new messages of change we request from people.
For me personally, these types of events are just another brick in the wall as for 3 years already the only change existent is at the level of words (messages) while the old goals never changed. In the factual reality – no impact of such gatherings touched societies and economies NOW – now when it is needed. Not tomorrow!
These sort of events – should end with real solutions, models, strategies, matrices, systems compulsory adjustments, goals change, accents change, alliances, etc – to start being implemented immediately and in emergency regimes in societies and economies. Otherwise they don’t go beyond being just networking meetings.
In factual reality at the level of action – leaders must make a simple choice: between good and right.
We, the ordinary people must make another simple choice: between being slaves or servants by activating our own tools of judgment.
We live times when reluctance and hesitations are luxury items and no deviations and concessions are affordable anymore. The present time continuous leadership trends – don’t show any positive direct results too soon in neither economies nor societies. At least I am unable to see it and indeed, I am just another person in this world and nothing more.
There’s a missing puzzle piece in the whole picture view: the catalyst – that little piece able to bridge the gaps between:
– Virtual & Real
– Social & Business & Political
– Conceptual & Factual
– Leaders & Ordinary people
– Messages & Actions
– Micro & Macro, etc
… all those “small global gaps” from various perspectives that give us today a feeling of disintegration and inability to really answer to our today’s most pressing issues in businesses, economies, policies, societies and at individual level.
If innovation at large scale should focus on something really needed today – the theme of thinking should be: “how we should use all we have done and created in order to get that catalyst able to help us to correct our mistakes and to built a bridge over all these gaps, one by one – in order to respond to all our present times most pressing issues?”