Picture a responsible business and companies like Morgan Stanley, BP, L’Oréal, and Unilever don’t readily come to mind. But corporate giants may have more of a role in mainstreaming responsible business than we think.
More and more, nonprofit philanthropists, such as Pierre M. Omidyar and Peter B. Lewis are providing management consulting services to their grantees in order to increase their organizational effectiveness.
There are many reasons that people join nonprofit boards. The primary motivation is to do something good. But there is a reason that isn't discussed in polite company: "I want to join a board in order to develop business relationships." If you just want to make business contacts, there are way easier ways to network than to commit to multiple hours of board and committee meetings.
The farm helps children from violent backgrounds learn new skills, while teaching "respect for other creatures." If deals with the Four Seasons Hotel company and major supermarkets come through, the endeavor would get a considerable boost.
There are B corporations—benefit corporations—whose mandates are to serve the public good and also increase shareholder value. There are also L3Cs, low-profit limited liability corporations with a similar dual purpose. Translation: for-profit companies whose boards and managers are not expected to fully maximize the company's financial value. I have a fundamental problem with this.