Leadership, “Reputation Matters,” Forbes, March 11, 2022

Over the years, the obligation organizations, their employees, customers, and stakeholders have felt to address — and redress — tragic wrongs in society has grown and grown.

Corporate social responsibility has been a topic for decades. But it is only now, as the concept of B corps (a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency) has intersected with the dereliction of various countries and their leaders to “do the right thing,” that companies have truly begun to find their voices. Often, they have needed to become the only adults in the room.

“#MeToo,” the murders of George Floyd and other black men and women caught on video, racism as a whole, atrocities at our border separating parents from their children, climate change and its devastating consequences, the importance of vaccines to fight the pandemic, and the pandemic itself — are all examples of controversial, politicized issues some corporations have begun to weigh in on.

Whether those issues directly involved the company or not, some leaders — management and board-level — chose to speak out. It is as if companies now not only have their own “brands” and “reputations,” they are developing their own personalities that they must stay true to: the company as global citizen. The corporate conscience. […read more]