CIBLE debates purpose and social impact!
Social impact is on the rise. The term is increasingly permeating marketing discourse and the notion is slowly taking its place at the heart of many organizations' business strategies and decisions, regardless of their size and sector. But when it comes to social impact, what does it mean?
The Conseil Supérieur de l'Économie Sociale et Solidaire (ESS) refers to social impact as the totality of the positive repercussions, as much as the evolution, changes and ruptures of an organization's activities, both on its direct or indirect external stakeholders in its territory, as well as in society in general.
You probably know this, but today's consumers are more informed and aware than ever before and are choosing brands that respect their values and convictions. The time for empty promises of commitments is over: the time has come to evaluate the real impact of organizations. Movements such as B Corp, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progressive companies and impact investing are good examples that demonstrate the emergence of this phenomenon.
The purpose and the collective interest: the new standard
In order to challenge and engage today's consumers, it is therefore imperative to focus its workforce on impact strategies. In the near future, the organizations that will bring the most value to society and to all their stakeholders (employees, suppliers, customers, etc.), and not only to their shareholders, will be the most respected and sustainable in the long term.
But in order for actions to be the breath of real transformative power, one of the first steps that organizations must take is to anchor their ways of doing things and acting with a purpose; one that will give their activities a profound meaning focused on a mission of social, environmental or ethical interest, beyond mere financial performance.
Defined in the right and inspiring words, the purpose becomes an important factor of attractiveness and differentiation if it is well integrated and deployed. It must also be expressed in precise and sincere commitments, while striking the best balance between profitability and the desired social impact.
All too often, many employees are unable to identify the purpose of the company they work for.
This is an alarming fact, since the company is a powerful vector for commitment. And in a context where it is becoming difficult to recruit the workforce, the notion of social impact becomes a valuable tool when making decisions, but also to engage and rally teams to make a real difference. This is all the more important in 2020, knowing that work, for the new generation of workers, must satisfy a quest for greater meaning.
So how do you use your purpose to create impact?
First, organizations need to question their positioning. They need to determine whether they are perceived positively or negatively in the market, both by the community, its partners, its competition and its suppliers. Next, they must ask themselves about their employees: are they happy, respected, involved and listened to? What are their values, the causes that are important to them, their social interests, their aspirations at work, etc.? What about the employer brand? Is it still attractive and up-to-date?
These questions are of great importance since they will allow the company to clearly position itself on values and issues, in synergy with those of its employees, to identify innovative business opportunities and to put in place a coherent and structured plan for honest and genuine social transformation. Also, it should not be forgotten that when a company decides to activate its social brand, it must question its partnerships and business ecosystems. The collaborators must have the same human, social and environmental values as the company, otherwise the impact strategy will be considered not very credible and above all ineffective.
You would like to integrate social impact at the heart of your business model and strategy? At CIBLE, we work with organizations from various sectors to integrate entrepreneurial actions that create value for the entire community. We will help you reflect on your impact opportunities in order to put forward actions that will allow you to become the best for the world.