Fast Company

Saving the World at Work

Fast Interview: Tim Sanders, author of Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference, talks about how employees are greening their companies from within, the death of the casual consumer, why bosses are welcoming their ideas, and how the new exclamation of approval is "That's off the grid!"

Working for the man is becoming obsolete. Employees and customers want to work for and support companies that share their ethical values, says Sanders. He believes we are in the midst of a "responsibility revolution" in which sustainable business practices and social responsibility will become something no company can afford to ignore. Ultimately, it's all about doing good at work -- why sustainability and corporate responsibility are becoming easier -- and necessary for survival.

What do you mean by is saving the world at work?

I mean two things: making a difference to the greater community and the planet while you do your job and helping your company survive the coming responsibility revolution. My research says there are huge changes coming to the business world starting with the dirtiest industries like carpets and cars and spreading to what you would think of as the cleanest industries like high-tech web programming. Historically, when there's a real business revolution like the quality movement of the '70s and '80s, the paradigm shift eventually spreads to every industry. The main point of the book is that anybody can make a real difference in their work career experience because one person at work can unleash the power of many.

Why are we more empowered to do good on our jobs than past generations?

Many CEOs, especially those who are excited about Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability, are better listeners than they've ever been before. The new generation of CEOs, regardless of age, seem to be very happy to adopt front line innovations and scale them. When I did the research for the book, we talked to over 300 CEOs and we ended up talking to executives of over half the Fortune 500. Remarkably, 80 percent of the time you show me a really cool green or community innovation and if I push a little bit, that executive will cough up the name of a non C-level person that actually came up with the idea.

So there's more openness to ideas from below?

Reverse mentoring during the dot-com revolution really opened the door to the C- suites. Even the kid with the tattoos, spiked hair, and ring in his noise got to show the CEO how the Internet worked. That really changed everything.

How has technology made companies more accountable?

Changes in technology have empowered people to find out more about companies and tell more about companies. This new transparency means that your reputation can no longer be controlled by corporate communications and fixed by advertising. You can't possibly buy enough greenwash ads to outrun Techcrunch and Facebook on Fire -- when a large community of friends get a burr in their bonnet about a company or decide they love a company and all of the sudden you see an explosion in the blogosphere. I mean, even Wal-Mart realized that no amount of advertising would make up for the simple hiring of Adam Werbach of the Sierra Club to teach personal sustainability. By my count, at least 5,000 Wal-Mart employees, friends or family have blogged positively about their personal sustainability programs. When you run the math, that's a whole lot of media impressions.

More important, at work you have a network that's very scalable because of e-mail, project tools and employee generated blogs. The thing that used to keep a company from moving forward -- its size -- can now be its tool. In my book, I tell the story of Joan Krajewski at Microsoft, an attorney who worked in the hardware group and used all the Microsoft tech tools from Live Meeting to SharePoint, to build a network of Micro Greenies -- other Microsoft employees who think the company could be greener. By leveraging these tools, this attorney has had a real impact on everything from how hardware products are packaged sustainably to the software products Microsoft develops like carbon footprint analytic programs. She did it all using tools that her parents didn't have available.

You speak about the responsibility revolution. What's that?

There is a broad based movement in the market -- consumers, talent, even young fund managers who expect companies to stand for more than profit. They expect companies to step up and help governments and NGOs fix broken communities and practice sustainability. They will punish the ones that don't and reward the ones that do. If your company isn't making strategic inroads towards being more sustainable, your replacement in the market will.

Is this related to why you see the end of the casual customer?

Certainly, customers are going to ask difficult questions besides the ones about price and quality. They're starting to ask new questions. Think of all the people who are shopping for cars now. The customer used to ask about price, finance terms. Today MPG and eco effect make a big difference, and that's why you see the rise of hybrids. If you want to understand what's going to happen in the U.S. in three-to-five years in the area of ethical consumerism, just take a look at what's happening in the United Kingdom. Led by an organization called the Carbon Trust, there's now eco nutrition labeling on products. Once a consumer sees what the carbon footprint is and can compare it to another product, half the time it changes buying behavior.

In contrast to sustainable management is what you call "shareism" or excessive fixation on the stock price. Have you ever worked at a company like that?

Sure, in my days in Southwestern Bell and certainly in the dot-com crash days of Yahoo. The price of the share and what they were saying on CNBC could give the best employees that deer in the headlights look. If you've ever worked in a company where almost all your wealth was stock options, you go from a Gucci mama to gurgler -- a gurgler is when all your wealth is under water. You can't workout and watch cable before you go to work and you can't read the Wall Street Journal before you go to work. It will scare the hell out of you and you can't focus at work. At the managerial level, when I worked in the phone company world, it totally affects all their planning because it confines them into the quarter so much because their belief is that if we miss it by a penny the stock goes down by 20 percent and all three-year plans get killed. There's this total focus on the stock price and this idea that all investments have to be accreted by the next quarterly earnings call. That's going to make it really tough for you to really commit to things like employee development, community development, or alternative energy.

How will Web companies become more green?

The first thing is how the business is run. Both Fast Institute and Google have made investments in solar power and other companies are making investments in wind power. One of funniest new slang terms I've heard is, "off the grid." If you tell a good joke or have a bright idea, at a lot companies they say, "Dude that's off the grid!" What it really means is you're an innovative thinker and have very little footprint. For a lot of Web companies going off the grid is not a big deal because power requirements are low compared to, say, a manufacturing company. But what I see as a bridge solution to going off the grid is cloud computing. It's not just efficient and a money saver; it's the equivalent to public transportation down the information superhighway. People that buy servers for the sake of having servers are like people who still buy answering machines at home. It's a Hummer -- another slang term that means an idea that's convenient but bad for the planet and usually driven by ego.

A lot of Web companies are embracing four-day workweeks and telecommuting which dramatically cuts their footprint. How you run your company can be very green and a big part of your story when you're trying to raise money on Sand Hill Road in the valley. You show me a venture capitalist who's worth a billion bucks on paper and has two Aston Martins and I'll show you a guy that's more likely to fund a company that's been thoughtful about these issues.

The second way a Web company can green up is conserving energy by reducing the requirements of the end user. There needs to be a paradigm shift in media driven Web companies that depend on advertising to make money. A lot of Web programming is about keeping you on longer. They have to lose time spent as a way of thinking about success.

Is sustainability becoming a form of PR in its own right?

For decades, the number one driver of a brand's strength is that it's different. Researchers believe that there's been a leapfrog in the last five years and all of a sudden social esteem has jumped over relevance and differentiation. One of the new mottos I hear in New York and the ad agency world is "making a difference is the new difference."

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78 Comments

  • Jaime Castell�

    There is also a production revolution going on ... we (at least we, the first world) do not need a factory to produce output (in the form of knowledge), and that changes the whole equation of how a company is thought of and designed, both in terms of production and relationships. For me, the "responsability revolution" is a welcome change that we, knowledge workers are experiencing as we develop a new model of company, very much related with what artisans did in the past. We now put our own values and our own individual search of meaning in what we do ... our jobs.

    Jaime, from Spain

  • Varinder Singh

    Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainable business practices are something, which no company can dare to ignore today. In other words, these have become important for the survival of any business. The principle of sustainable development clearly states that an enterprise should make decisions based not only on financial factors i.e., profit and dividend but also on long-term environmental consequences of their activities.

    In my opinion, there should be a continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their family members as well as of the local community and society at large. Researchers estimate that the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years will be talented employees many of which pay attention to corporate social and environmental.

    It is absolutely true that it is the end of casual customers. No, company can build an everlasting image on the customers through branding and advertising. Both customers and stakeholders today expect companies to become more responsible and help government and NGO’s fix broken communities and practice sustainability. By tapping into the trend of consumer preference for green products the profits and revenue can be increased.

    Technological advancement has also manifested itself in dual way. The reputation and brand image of the company can no longer be manned and controlled artificially. The internal culture and work environment of the company will any ways reach out to people through unorganised and informal ways (blogs and social networking sites). Thus, the reputation of the company can no longer be controlled by corporate communication and fixed by advertising.

    Thus, the interdependence between business and the external environment and its employees is an ongoing process. Companies that show an environmental and social responsibility tend to be viewed as less risky and that can translate into cost avoidance, lower insurance premiums, reduced legal and regulatory cost, preferred rates on loans, greater investor appeal and avoidance of lost revenue from consumer activist’s action. Therefore, the corporate sector should reach out from within the company to the society outside in order to benefit both business and society.

    Varinder Singh
    IMDR, PUNE, INDIA

  • Mahesh Shinde

    I think the article is all about corporate social resposibility.many companies are nowadays getting into this kind of work were they are providing some kind of their help to under previeleged or NGO's.As the saying goes charity begins at home but all this comes at some cost and the cost is fame that is been received bye these corporates.All this is performed by the corporates with lot of hype were they leave no space untouched so that each and every individual comes to know about their activities.I would say people should do such kind activities in such a manner that if done through right hand then the left hand shouldn't come to know.I know some small scale organization which are involved in such kind of activity but thier activities are seldom known to public.

    The second issue that has been put forward in the article is about the reverse mentorship.I would really appreciate this concept but how many higher level authorities are really in the state of mind were in they readily accept the ideas given by their subordinates.If the concept of reverse mentorship if taken in right spirit would definitely help each and every individual.Reseach shows that a childs brain is more active and is with lot of ideas than that a grown up adult, hence the ideas given by them would definitely help in some or other ways to get out of problems.And the saying "waqt aane par ghada(donkey) ko bhi baap(father) bana na padta hai" in this world of fearsome competitive world you have to mould yourself as and when the situation demands.

    The third issue that has been discused inm the article is that of greenry-environment.I this concept is some what old to us which has been followed since 80's where company norms have been given to them taht to some extent they have to follow inorder to keep this environment live able.Otherwise if not followed would led to lot of hazards and not a single indiviual wouldn't be able to live on the earth.Infact all the corporates have been planting trees in and around the campus so keep the environment eco friendly but would it really help you out if produce 100 toonns of wastage and in return will grow 50 trees that to in vicinity of your campus were as the wastage is thrown 100's of 1000's of kms away from the campus, point to be noted.

    At last i would like to sum up my comment by saying that follow your mind and heart as they are the one whom you know very well and also they are the one's who know what is right and what is wrong.In other words as our course says what is ethical and what isn't..

    regards,
    mahesh shinde,
    PGDM-2, IMDR,
    PUNE.

  • ankita birla

    In today’s global arena, corporate social responsibility is an important consideration for the effective execution on a daily basis. It is now a global trend that invites a great deal of attention and asks corporations to do the right thing. In my understanding, corporate social responsibility is about voluntarily serving the society at both the community as well as at the global level. Today organizations are using CSR strategically to create for themselves an image of “socially responsible organizations” in the minds of their stakeholders. CSR initiatives by companies in developing countries can make a huge difference in their development. There are few examples of CSR initiatives undertaken by some of the Indian companies: Infosys Technologies has created Infosys Foundation which focuses on healthcare, education, art and culture and social rehabilitation; Hero Honda has set up integrated rural development center on Delhi-Jaipur highway, vocational training center, adult literacy programs, etc. Some other companies who have taken CSR initiatives are Vodafone, HSBC Holdings, Carrefour, etc.
    Integrity and profitability are at the forefront of corporate social responsibility. There are eight principles for creating and preserving integrity and profitability. These eight principles are leadership & governance, transparency & integrity, community, customer care, valuing the worker, respect for the environment, equality & diversity and lastly, globalization. Companies performing CSR indirectly performs these eight principles. Some of the results of this are that workers have a feeling of ownership in the company as they are given importance and are being heard and hence they perform better, transparency leads to trust build up in the minds of the stakeholders and the society. CSR is an important tool in the hands of PR and corporate communication department. It depends on them how they utilize the CSR initiatives in benefiting the organizations. Social responsibility provides corporations various benefits such as reputation building, building positive corporate image, increasing profit margins, enhanced efficiency, etc.
    As mentioned in the article regarding consumers, I do agree that consumers have a good image of companies performing social responsibility but I do not agree to the example given of car buying behaviour. I think consumers are still interested in price and quality, and ask questions also regarding the same. Also there is a lot of energy crisis in the world today and as a result of CSR steps are being taken by many companies in setting up wind power to generate energy. One of the companies I have seen is WIPRO and there are many more who have taken steps in this area. Responsibility revolution has helped in huge development.
    Regards
    Ankita Birla
    IMDR,Pune,India

  • Garima Bharati

    Hello,
    Every corporate tries to get the work done in the simplest way possible. All the means that were used to get work out of employees failed after certain period of time. There were revolts, strikes etc and the corporates getting run out of business due to closures in work.
    So what do you do in this situation. What is thge biggest problem in the world right now. Its the survival.. of the planet itself... Say to the employee that he is working for BIGGER CAUSE... Saving the environment... Turn Eco-friendly and it gives him a fake assurance...
    Corporates have to make profits... How do you make them without the employee working? So tell him he working for Eco Friendly cause, to make the world a better place live...
    It is also a good ploy to capture the customers also... Tell them its environment friendly, show them the so called eco friendly technology used and snap its a step towards profits...
    The relity is that the employee works with determination and dedication under this influence and feels satisfied as he has worked for better cause and the corporates get the profits the easy way....

  • saurabh deshmukh

    The interview talks about carbon foot print and being 'Green’. From the very first line to the last line of the interview Mr. Sanders has been talking about the Eco concerns of web companies. He is successful in quoting the difference of consumer behavior that is arising out of these Eco-concerns. It’s a very interesting observation i must say. But the real question remains is " Is it always the consumer because of whose behavior the corporations will realize their responsibility?" Had the consumer not behaving the way they are shouldn't it be for the corporation to behave responsibly? I must say the word Corporate Social Responsibility is a farce, metaphorically. the author talks about Eco nutrition which can be defined as - it is a voluntary trademark that is awarded to products deemed, to be less harmful to the environment than other products within the same category. There is another observation by Mr. Sanders about the focus on stock prices and that all the investments have to be accreted by the next quarterly earning call. This situation for a commoner is trivial. By commoner I mean a regular/ ordinary corporation whose only motive is to earn profit and more profit. What is Community development for them? Forget about Alternative energy. Some of the organizations which have keen interest in Wind Energy etc. and if at all doing something about it then it is commendable, with the hope that CSR does not remain a mere page in the respective website.
    Saurabh Deshmukh,
    IMDR Pune
    INDIA

  • Radhika Devi Padala

    Saving the World at Work

    My perception about the sentence that what ever we do, it should not harm society as well as planet. This will come from the responsibility towards community.

    As per me, it is the responsibility of every citizen to save the world (planet). If they feel that what ever they are doing is not ethical, then its better to look into alternatives of doing the things. For example Mr. Seelam Raja Sekhar Reddy is a farmer who worked in some pesticide industry. Realizing the harms caused by pesticides, he started his own bio-products farming called Shresta natural bio-products. The cost of food items cultivated by using bio-products is more and so there used to be huge loss in the beginning. But later people realized the advantages of using bio-products and now the demand for the food items cultivated by using bio-products is more. Now this Shresta natural bio-products produces 6000 tons of organic food products, cultivated in 12000 acres of farms across 10 states of India.

    In short Mr. Reddy felt that whatever he has done is not ethical & so he started farming by bio-products. This is what is called Responsibility revolution. Here you can see the customers that are not casual customer; they are looking for more than price and quality.

    I agreed the point “For a lot of Web companies going off the grid is not a big deal because power requirements are low compared to manufacturing company”.

    Because of web technologies & open sources revolution lot of new ideas are generated and were implemented like Wikipedia, Linux, etc. For example many are aware that using petrol cars resulting in pollution & is expensive. So Finland people started a new project from open sources (open farm) for converting a petrol car to an Electric car, which included people like electrical engineers, IT professions & other non professionals. In the manufacturing industry the price of electric cars varies between 30K $ to 400K $. But here from this open farm, they were able to convert the petrol car to electric car with in the range of 38K $ .

    Every body is aware of that pollution caused by petrol cars & they do think that it would be good if they start using Electric cars. But it may not be possible for an individual to start working on generating an electric car, unless he has some group. To form a group through using web technology is easier than forming a group physically. So using the latest technologies, they formed a group by feeling to do something for the society and planet.

    Now a days in the organization they started the portals for the innovation ideas. So ideas can come from any one in the organization. And all this is possible because of the technology.

    Responsibility revolution should start from personal level.

    Radhika Devi Padala
    IMDR, PUNE, INDIA

  • ankita birla

    Since the last few years, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained prominence and is gaining increasing attention around the world among business people, media, and academics from a wide range of disciplines. There are probably many reasons for the attention given to this phenomenon, not at least of which is the corporate excesses witnessed in recent years in various parts of the world. There are various examples of this kind of behaviour such as BCCI, Enron, and collapse of Arthur Anderson which have left and unforgettable impression among the people that all is not well within the corporate world and there are problems which need to be addressed. Few of the Indian companies which have taken CSR initiatives are:
    ONGC-It has taken steps towards social economic development by identifying projects at plant level by involving administration, local representatives and voluntary organisations. Projects focussed on education, health care, family welfare and community development.
    Hindustan Unilever Ltd. – Few of the projects undertaken by HUL towards CSR are Project Shakti which focussed on empowering under privileged rural women targeting small villages with population of less than 2000 and Project Yashodham – it focussed on reconstruction of village in Guajrat’s Kutch district.
    The self centred approach towards organizational activity has never been universally acceptable and has been unable to satisfactorily provide a basis for human activity. So, there has been a concern for the social responsibility behaviour of organizations which gained prominence. Big businesses have started recognizing the need to adapt to new social climate of CSR but their orientation towards financial results is inhibiting social responsiveness. But now companies are no longer exclusive for share holders and have responsibilities to the society wherein the existed. Thus there is shift towards the greater accountability of companies to society as a whole.

    The three basic principles which together comprise CSR activity are:

    1)Sustainability – It implies radical changes to business practise and a significant amount of process reengineering. The key dimensions of sustainability are societal influence which means impact that society makes upon corporations, Environmental impact which means effect of the actions of the corporation upon its environment, Organisational culture which means relationship between the corporation and its internal stakeholders, Finance which is the adequate return for the level of risk undertaken.
    2)Transparency – Companies should be concerned about what happens further along their supply chain. Companies can no longer say that suppliers or the people attached to the business indirectly are not their responsibility. It is something that has brought largely because of the revelations of the incidents of child labour, slavery and other human right abuses.
    3)Accountability – It means reconfiguration of value chain. For example if multinationals in developed countries locate their high valued operations in developing countries. Then the company will be making real contribution towards effective change.

    Regards,
    Puneet Bhasin
    IMDR, Pune, India

  • ankita birla

    Since the last few years, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained prominence and is gaining increasing attention around the world among business people, media, and academics from a wide range of disciplines. There are probably many reasons for the attention given to this phenomenon, not at least of which is the corporate excesses witnessed in recent years in various parts of the world. There are various examples of this kind of behaviour such as BCCI, Enron, and collapse of Arthur Anderson which have left and unforgettable impression among the people that all is not well within the corporate world and there are problems which need to be addressed. Few of the Indian companies which have taken CSR initiatives are:
    ONGC-It has taken steps towards social economic development by identifying projects at plant level by involving administration, local representatives and voluntary organisations. Projects focussed on education, health care, family welfare and community development.
    Hindustan Unilever Ltd. – Few of the projects undertaken by HUL towards CSR are Project Shakti which focussed on empowering under privileged rural women targeting small villages with population of less than 2000 and Project Yashodham – it focussed on reconstruction of village in Guajrat’s Kutch district.
    The self centred approach towards organizational activity has never been universally acceptable and has been unable to satisfactorily provide a basis for human activity. So, there has been a concern for the social responsibility behaviour of organizations which gained prominence. Big businesses have started recognizing the need to adapt to new social climate of CSR but their orientation towards financial results is inhibiting social responsiveness. But now companies are no longer exclusive for share holders and have responsibilities to the society wherein the existed. Thus there is shift towards the greater accountability of companies to society as a whole.

    The three basic principles which together comprise CSR activity are:

    1)Sustainability – It implies radical changes to business practise and a significant amount of process reengineering. The key dimensions of sustainability are societal influence which means impact that society makes upon corporations, Environmental impact which means effect of the actions of the corporation upon its environment, Organisational culture which means relationship between the corporation and its internal stakeholders, Finance which is the adequate return for the level of risk undertaken.
    2)Transparency – Companies should be concerned about what happens further along their supply chain. Companies can no longer say that suppliers or the people attached to the business indirectly are not their responsibility. It is something that has brought largely because of the revelations of the incidents of child labour, slavery and other human right abuses.
    3)Accountability – It means reconfiguration of value chain. For example if multinationals in developed countries locate their high valued operations in developing countries. Then the company will be making real contribution towards effective change.

    Regards,
    Puneet Bhasin
    IMDR, Pune, India

  • Archana Ingle

    Tim Sanders, author of Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference in his above article talks about "responsibility revolution and saving the world at work which is same as Corporate Social Responsibility which not a new concept in Management. He talks about CSR and companies can achieve the same and more importantly us as an employee can also make a difference and how we also can achieve the same. What Corporate Social Responsibility according to me in short It is the role of a company in a local and social context. It could be charity, education, or a role of governance. It could also be the responsibility of the management concerning with trade unions, workers, customers, and shareholders or it could also be a reach out program. Tim Sanders is talking about the same but he also on employees that they can also make a difference can should think beyond doing mechanically work and earning the money. But so why is the industry a prime candidate for CSR? And why they should think and beyond their prime objective of profit and profit maximization the reason is not because the government is forcing “ NO “it but because the industry is a pool of resources, money, people, and talent all in one basket. Companies have to pay for what they are using.

    The main crux of the article ilea in the statement of Tim Sanders on saving the world at work he says it means two things making a difference to the greater community and the planet while you do your job and helping your company survive the coming responsibility revolution. He first gives importance to Planet and community which is ultimately talking about social responsibility. He focuses on how we as an employee can make a difference. According to me there are many ways to achieve CSR by companies and by employee also but it depends on many factors such as Profitability of company and environment in which it is operating. It depends on employee and management of the company how to achieve the same. In Europe the entire perception of CSR is environmentally related. In the developed countries like Japan and Singapore the focus is on the larger issues like global warming. When it comes to poorer countries like India, Bangladesh CSR has a greater role with charity, education awareness and out reach programs. I think all these perspectives are equally important and we should do the same.CSR is getting importance day by day and it will increase in future so every company should follow it and in any ways companies will bet some benefit out of it like popularity or something else. Like Tim Sander I think we as an employee also can lead the way and can make the difference and if we are doing that then only in true sense we can say responsibility revolution is taking place. First I think at first we have to make corporate social responsibility as necessity, later it will became a habit for corporate and their employees. With other corporate it first became a habit and they will surely follow it.

    Archana Ingle
    IMDR,Pune.

  • Dushyant Dangi

    In this article author talks about how today’s corporate world is changing. He talks about how people have changed the environment of company. How consumer prefers greener organization. Author talks about saving the world at work by doing certain changes in working style or in technology or in product.

    Author says that changes are coming in the business world and every industry is becoming greener and cleaner. He says it will spread in every sector. We can see the same in India also . Most companies are becoming more eco friendly. Latest example is of tata who decide to move out for safety of employee and also for giving the land back for farming.

    Many CEO told author how these new innovative ideas are coming from a Non-C level employee. Author says it happening due to dot com revolution. Well I think Non c level people always had the potential to give new innovations only dot com revolution has made it possible. It had given more power to lower level employees. Today company’s ways of working are known to whole world due to high technology and media. This also force companies to do work in eco friendly way. Author also tell about how software company has gone in to help NGO and government. All these help have worked in there favour as it create a positive image of firm in eyes of both employees and consumer.

    Then author talks about how working become difficult if u r working to make up profit to hold on your share. I agree with him as it takes your attention from other work. Today software firms are investing in solar power and other thing. I think they should do it as they are the one who are earning the highest profit. When you are at the top you need to do some things for world as it become ones responsibility.

    What I think is company should also work on there products making them eco friendly. They should tell consumers about there products and how there products are eco friendly which will force others to join the league.
    Dushyant Dangi
    IMDR Pune

  • ankita birla

    Since the last few years, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained prominence and is gaining increasing attention around the world among business people, media, and academics from a wide range of disciplines. There are probably many reasons for the attention given to this phenomenon, not at least of which is the corporate excesses witnessed in recent years in various parts of the world. There are various examples of this kind of behaviour such as BCCI, Enron, and collapse of Arthur Anderson which have left and unforgettable impression among the people that all is not well within the corporate world and there are problems which need to be addressed. Few of the Indian companies which have taken CSR initiatives are:
    ONGC-It has taken steps towards social economic development by identifying projects at plant level by involving administration, local representatives and voluntary organisations. Projects focussed on education, health care, family welfare and community development.
    Hindustan Unilever Ltd. – Few of the projects undertaken by HUL towards CSR are Project Shakti which focussed on empowering under privileged rural women targeting small villages with population of less than 2000 and Project Yashodham – it focussed on reconstruction of village in Guajrat’s Kutch district.
    The self centred approach towards organizational activity has never been universally acceptable and has been unable to satisfactorily provide a basis for human activity. So, there has been a concern for the social responsibility behaviour of organizations which gained prominence. Big businesses have started recognizing the need to adapt to new social climate of CSR but their orientation towards financial results is inhibiting social responsiveness. But now companies are no longer exclusive for share holders and have responsibilities to the society wherein the existed. Thus there is shift towards the greater accountability of companies to society as a whole.

    The three basic principles which together comprise CSR activity are:

    1)Sustainability – It implies radical changes to business practise and a significant amount of process reengineering. The key dimensions of sustainability are societal influence which means impact that society makes upon corporations, Environmental impact which means effect of the actions of the corporation upon its environment, Organisational culture which means relationship between the corporation and its internal stakeholders, Finance which is the adequate return for the level of risk undertaken.
    2)Transparency – Companies should be concerned about what happens further along their supply chain. Companies can no longer say that suppliers or the people attached to the business indirectly are not their responsibility. It is something that has brought largely because of the revelations of the incidents of child labour, slavery and other human right abuses.
    3)Accountability – It means reconfiguration of value chain. For example if multinationals in developed countries locate their high valued operations in developing countries. Then the company will be making real contribution towards effective change.

    Regards,
    Puneet Bhasin
    IMDR, Pune, India

  • Dushyant Dangi

    In this article author talks about how today’s corporate world is changing. He talks about how people have changed the environment of company. How consumer prefers greener organization. Author talks about saving the world at work by doing certain changes in working style or in technology or in product.

    Author says that changes are coming in the business world and every industry is becoming greener and cleaner. He says it will spread in every sector. We can see the same in India also . Most companies are becoming more eco friendly. Latest example is of tata who decide to move out for safety of employee and also for giving the land back for farming.

    Many CEO told author how these new innovative ideas are coming from a Non-C level employee. Author says it happening due to dot com revolution. Well I think Non c level people always had the potential to give new innovations only dot com revolution has made it possible. It had given more power to lower level employees. Today company’s ways of working are known to whole world due to high technology and media. This also force companies to do work in eco friendly way. Author also tell about how software company has gone in to help NGO and government. All these help have worked in there favour as it create a positive image of firm in eyes of both employees and consumer.

    Then author talks about how working become difficult if u r working to make up profit to hold on your share. I agree with him as it takes your attention from other work. Today software firms are investing in solar power and other thing. I think they should do it as they are the one who are earning the highest profit. When you are at the top you need to do some things for world as it become ones responsibility.

    What I think is company should also work on there products making them eco friendly. They should tell consumers about there products and how there products are eco friendly which will force others to join the league.
    Dushyant Dangi
    IMDR Pune

  • Prayag Khandelwal

    First, I would like to appreciate the work of Tim Sanders. There was a need to highlight the issue of environment. Environment is a major issue for all the countries of the world. Our society is solely responsible for the degradation of our environment. Now, it is the time to take right measures to prevent our future generation from various consequences.
    I am totally agreed with Tim Sanders that employees and customers want to work for and support companies that share ethical values. Sustainability in an organization is very important for its future growth. When there is a “feel good” factor in the organization, employees will sustain more. Like Infosys do many social welfare works and invest money for the cleanliness of environment. So, employees of Infosys feel proud of their organization.
    Relationships of employees & employers are getting better now a days. Now, worker of any level of organization can give ideas and their ideas can easily be passing on to the higher level that was not possible in part generations. The most important point he has put forward is that we have stop thinking only about individual benefits and start thinking about the world at large.
    Even when the top-management team believes that it is essential to increase coordination between IT and the business, nothing will happen until business managers must answer for IT planning and its results. This is the most difficult— and important—steps to take, and it raises thorny questions. Since technology systems can cut across an enterprise, who should be accountable for what? How will results be assessed and measured? How can business executives be responsible for technology when they don’t control the IT organization that implements it?

    The day when companies become the part of this responsibility revolution, this world will be a much better place to live in. this will not only give profits to the company but goodwill also.
    Consumers want eco-friendly products now a day. So, they want to buy products from the companies who are concerned for environment.
    As the "Green Movement" becomes more and more popular, it is going to get increasingly difficult to determine which companies to trust and which are only concerned about their profits.
    I must say that Tim did a great job. So, now there is need to think about all natural resources like petrol, gas, coal, etc. To promote solar equipments, hybrid cars and all eco-friendly products is the best strategy for the new generation companies.

    PRAYAG KHANDELWAL
    IMDR,PUNE
    INDIA

  • Archana Ingle

    Tim Sanders, author of Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference in his above article talks about "responsibility revolution and saving the world at work which is same as Corporate Social Responsibility which not a new concept in Management. He talks about CSR and companies can achieve the same and more importantly us as an employee can also make a difference and how we also can achieve the same. What Corporate Social Responsibility according to me in short It is the role of a company in a local and social context. It could be charity, education, or a role of governance. It could also be the responsibility of the management concerning with trade unions, workers, customers, and shareholders or it could also be a reach out program. Tim Sanders is talking about the same but he also on employees that they can also make a difference can should think beyond doing mechanically work and earning the money. But so why is the industry a prime candidate for CSR? And why they should think and beyond their prime objective of profit and profit maximization the reason is not because the government is forcing “ NO “it but because the industry is a pool of resources, money, people, and talent all in one basket. Companies have to pay for what they are using.

    The main crux of the article ilea in the statement of Tim Sanders on saving the world at work he says it means two things making a difference to the greater community and the planet while you do your job and helping your company survive the coming responsibility revolution. He first gives importance to Planet and community which is ultimately talking about social responsibility. He focuses on how we as an employee can make a difference. According to me there are many ways to achieve CSR by companies and by employee also but it depends on many factors such as Profitability of company and environment in which it is operating. It depends on employee and management of the company how to achieve the same. In Europe the entire perception of CSR is environmentally related. In the developed countries like Japan and Singapore the focus is on the larger issues like global warming. When it comes to poorer countries like India, Bangladesh CSR has a greater role with charity, education awareness and out reach programs. I think all these perspectives are equally important and we should do the same.CSR is getting importance day by day and it will increase in future so every company should follow it and in any ways companies will bet some benefit out of it like popularity or something else. Like Tim Sander I think we as an employee also can lead the way and can make the difference and if we are doing that then only in true sense we can say responsibility revolution is taking place. First I think at first we have to make corporate social responsibility as necessity, later it will became a habit for corporate and their employees. With other corporate it first became a habit and they will surely follow it.

    Regards,
    Archana Ingle
    IMDR,Pune.

  • ankita birla

    Since the last few years, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained prominence and is gaining increasing attention around the world among business people, media, and academics from a wide range of disciplines. There are probably many reasons for the attention given to this phenomenon, not at least of which is the corporate excesses witnessed in recent years in various parts of the world. There are various examples of this kind of behaviour such as BCCI, Enron, and collapse of Arthur Anderson which have left and unforgettable impression among the people that all is not well within the corporate world and there are problems which need to be addressed. Few of the Indian companies which have taken CSR initiatives are:
    ONGC-It has taken steps towards social economic development by identifying projects at plant level by involving administration, local representatives and voluntary organisations. Projects focussed on education, health care, family welfare and community development.
    Hindustan Unilever Ltd. – Few of the projects undertaken by HUL towards CSR are Project Shakti which focussed on empowering under privileged rural women targeting small villages with population of less than 2000 and Project Yashodham – it focussed on reconstruction of village in Guajrat’s Kutch district.
    The self centred approach towards organizational activity has never been universally acceptable and has been unable to satisfactorily provide a basis for human activity. So, there has been a concern for the social responsibility behaviour of organizations which gained prominence. Big businesses have started recognizing the need to adapt to new social climate of CSR but their orientation towards financial results is inhibiting social responsiveness. But now companies are no longer exclusive for share holders and have responsibilities to the society wherein the existed. Thus there is shift towards the greater accountability of companies to society as a whole.

    The three basic principles which together comprise CSR activity are:

    1)Sustainability – It implies radical changes to business practise and a significant amount of process reengineering. The key dimensions of sustainability are societal influence which means impact that society makes upon corporations, Environmental impact which means effect of the actions of the corporation upon its environment, Organisational culture which means relationship between the corporation and its internal stakeholders, Finance which is the adequate return for the level of risk undertaken.
    2)Transparency – Companies should be concerned about what happens further along their supply chain. Companies can no longer say that suppliers or the people attached to the business indirectly are not their responsibility. It is something that has brought largely because of the revelations of the incidents of child labour, slavery and other human right abuses.
    3)Accountability – It means reconfiguration of value chain. For example if multinationals in developed countries locate their high valued operations in developing countries. Then the company will be making real contribution towards effective change.

    Regards,
    Puneet Bhasin
    IMDR, Pune, India

  • Prayag Khandelwal

    First, I would like to appreciate the work of Tim Sanders. There was a need to highlight the issue of environment. Environment is a major issue for all the countries of the world. Our society is solely responsible for the degradation of our environment. Now, it is the time to take right measures to prevent our future generation from various consequences.
    I am totally agreed with Tim Sanders that employees and customers want to work for and support companies that share ethical values. Sustainability in an organization is very important for its future growth. When there is a “feel good” factor in the organization, employees will sustain more. Like Infosys do many social welfare works and invest money for the cleanliness of environment. So, employees of Infosys feel proud of their organization.
    Relationships of employees & employers are getting better now a days. Now, worker of any level of organization can give ideas and their ideas can easily be passing on to the higher level that was not possible in part generations. The most important point he has put forward is that we have stop thinking only about individual benefits and start thinking about the world at large.
    Even when the top-management team believes that it is essential to increase coordination between IT and the business, nothing will happen until business managers must answer for IT planning and its results. This is the most difficult— and important—steps to take, and it raises thorny questions. Since technology systems can cut across an enterprise, who should be accountable for what? How will results be assessed and measured? How can business executives be responsible for technology when they don’t control the IT organization that implements it?

    The day when companies become the part of this responsibility revolution, this world will be a much better place to live in. this will not only give profits to the company but goodwill also.
    Consumers want eco-friendly products now a day. So, they want to buy products from the companies who are concerned for environment.
    As the "Green Movement" becomes more and more popular, it is going to get increasingly difficult to determine which companies to trust and which are only concerned about their profits.
    I must say that Tim did a great job. So, now there is need to think about all natural resources like petrol, gas, coal, etc. To promote solar equipments, hybrid cars and all eco-friendly products is the best strategy for the new generation companies.

    Prayag Khandelwal
    IMDR,PUNE
    INDIA

  • Harish Sharma

    The gist of this article is talking about Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Now a day’s sustainability and corporate responsibility are something which no company can afford to ignore. Even every company look for these, as these are necessary for survival of the Companies. The article is also about employees. He is talking about employees to make a difference to the greater community and also to help his company to survive the responsibility revolution. Anybody can make a real difference in their work career experience because one person at work can unleash the power of many.
    The article also talks about Reverse mentoring which I think I use a lot. For example whenever I meet any one I look for his good skills and try to learn from it. Rather than seeing his bad qualities. My father always say this whenever I go in a new place and have to make friend there. He always says that don’t get influenced by their bad qualities, just try to learn their good skills. Every person has good and bad qualities. If we will see his/her bad qualities, we will never be able to make any friendship.
    Apart from these he also talks about importance of Technology in today’s world. Now a day’s whenever people want to collect information about any company they directly check through internet. They don’t wait for any one. Changes in technology have empowered people to find out more about companies and tell more about companies. Which shows that there is more transparency in today’s world. Only showing good advertisement can’t attract customers. Customers also expect companies to step up and help governments and NGOs fix broken communities and practice sustainability. They will punish the ones that don't and reward the ones that do. Customers are going to ask difficult questions besides the ones about price and quality. They're starting to ask new questions.
    Apart from all these the author also talks about “off the grid." If you tell a good joke or have a bright idea, at a lot companies they say, "Dude that's off the grid!" What it really means is you're an innovative thinker and have very little footprint. This happened with me when I started my GD practice with 10 of my friends. I always had a good point. But I was not able to express it. My mates hear that point and they express it. That’s what I called credit snatching. But that was my fault.

    Harish Sharma
    IMDR, Pune, India

  • Dinesh Dwarke

    Hello,
    Technology is changing day by day. The media is the fastest of it to change (is what i believe). People are becoming more conscience towards saving this planet.
    But in this situation also the corporates are using the same media, technology and the environmental as a means to prove there innocence. The charity, the environmental friendly programs are just done to get the eye of customer. There may be the real reason of preserving the planet in the minds of some of them but not all.
    Corporates are always going to remain the propfit makers no matter what and i believe thats the way it should.
    It's not just the duty of corporates but if every individuals take it as his personal job then the corporates would not have to take this extra effort, cause saving the planet is not there job but making profits is...

    Regards
    Dinesh Dwarke
    IMDR, Pune, India