The world around us is in a constant state of evolution. At a human level, the way we communicate is constantly changing, the way we interact with one another, with businesses and the ways that our day to day lives operate are in a constant state of flux. On a more grand scale, the world is changing, and so is the way that the businesses and people who inhabit it function.
In short, corporate social responsibility is evolving, and it’s important that you and your business recognize that and roll with the punches.
The first way that CSR is changing isn’t in methodology, but in prevalence. As a relatively new concept, many businesses are only recently beginning to embrace the responsibility of enacting positive social change. According to a global survey of CEOs, about 64% have been increasing their company’s investments in CSR practices, viewing them as a part of the business rather than a standalone investment.
Companies are also beginning to prioritize corporate social responsibility, viewing it as a core concept within their business rather than an afterthought. In an piece for the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Daniel Runde, director of the Project on Prosperity and Development claimed that in the past two decades multinational companies have began to work CSR into their business strategy, a shift from the reactive function it had acted as in the past.
Part of this shift that has both thrust corporate social responsibility into the limelight and increased its role within businesses is the positive impact of CSR practices. The benefits to society should be obvious–social responsibility is in the name! Companies that are able to build their business strategy around enacting positive social change are benefiting both the communities they operate in and the business itself. Studies have shown (and been detailed on Lincoln-Strategy.org) that strong CSR practices actually benefit a business financially as well; organizations that have prioritized corporate social responsibility have been shown to be more profitable in the long run.
The evolution around CSR is both in practice and efficiency and how businesses are viewing it. And if the changes and prioritization of CSR continues the way it has in recent years, melding technology and social responsibility, we can expect that the evolution will certainly be televised.