All Good Things
Two GOOD things happened over the past two days. First, the Business Roundtable just formally recognized that business has a social purpose as critical as the profit motive. 181 of the nation’s top CEOs agreed that driving shareholder value is no longer their sole business objective and other stakeholders such as customers, employees, the environment and communities hold equal weight. The purpose of business has been discussed in our client circles for awhile now but the recognition by the BRT is significant. Of course, there are arguments against this inclusion of other stakeholders besides investors but for the most part it has been embraced or changed the course of how leaders lead today. How stakeholder creation, not shareholder creation, will be measured is the question we need answering and hopefully that will happen in due time. But the BRT’s course correction is well noted and on board with how I look at reputational equity. All stakeholders must be considered when business decisions are being made to have outcomes that work for everyone.
The second piece of good news from where I sit is that I read in Axios that the John McCain family is commemorating his one year anniversary since he died with #ActsOfCivility. The family along with the John McCain Institute are asking people to have a dialogue with others they disagree with, do something nice for someone you’ve been at odds with or just listen carefully to another point of view. These are some of the ideas that I will be talking about when I present Weber Shandwick’s Civility in America research at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication on September 6 in Iowa. The summit on Communications and Civility in Our Democracy is a solution in itself. Talk, listen and do something.