Sunday 25 January 2015

CSR SWOT - discover risk, value and more

Is this your CSR?

CSR and Sustainability are continually getting more complex and more costly but often without a corresponding increase in value for shareholders and society. 
Sometimes it seems like it gets more complex and more costly and produces less value.

CSR budgets, requirements and external expectations have increased astronomically in recent years.

At the same time the depth and breadth of stakeholder groups and related interest has continued to grow. 

Layered on top of all this has been an ongoing increase in regulatory requirements around CSR and Sustainability and an almost immeasurable increase in voluntary standards, norms and reporting demands and expectations.

CSR and Sustainability are significant costs to modern corporations in many sectors.  And failure to ‘get it right’ is a huge risk with potentially devastating impacts on brand, projects, careers and even companies.

In many cases the cost and complexity of CSR has grown rapidly and often without an effective framework to ensure that shareholder value and societal value is optimized at both the project and the corporate level.

CSR can seem Eyes Glazing Over complex
As CSR has become more important it has gotten more complex,
more costly and often less efficient at producing value. 
A CSR SWOT can help discover risks and opportunities, and
help to CSR more comprehensible to key internal and external stakeholders

In my work at the corporate and project level I have often found

1.       CSR is efficient at value creation at the project level. 
At the project level CSR activities are relatively efficient at optimizing value to society and to the project.  The immediacy and discipline of social license and stakeholder interests drives discipline and focus.

CSR projects and activities at the site level (minesite, production site, factory, etc.) are normally fairly well aligned with societal and shareholder interests and enhancing overall social license.

2.       CSR is inefficient at value creation at the corporate level. 
There is seldom a corporate level strategy/framework for maximizing shareholder/corporate value from CSR activities and budgets at the project level. 

At the corporate level CSR value is more often realized across communications, social value branding, talent acquisition and retention, financial market relations, marketing and sales and other areas.

Whereas CSR and value creation at the site level is often responsive and, in some ways almost instinctive, at the corporate level it is much more nuanced and requires broader, more strategic and proactive approaches.

Few companies are efficient at fully capturing value from CSR at the corporate level.  This is somewhat ironic in that corporate level CSR value is a highly leveraged and low-risk value creation opportunity. 

For the most part the money has already been spent (at the site level) and capturing value at the corporate level is relatively low cost and high impact.

3.       CSR/Sustainability Metrics are confused and confusing. 

CSR Metrics should meet project and corporate level needs. 
Often they meet neithe

Corporate wide-metrics and reporting frameworks are difficult to fit to project-level needs and often simply add complexity and work without apparent project-level value. 

Metrics important for management at the project level are not understood or accepted at the corporate level, and often not even at executive levels on the project itself.

4.       CSR/Sustainability Reporting is inefficient and overwhelming.  
The reporting demands of the obligatory, regulatory-driven compliance reporting coupled with what often seems like a disconnected and confusing hodgepodge of voluntary reporting are confusing and overwhelming.

Compliance with regulatory driven reporting requirements is mandatory and can be driven by site level and host country requirements, home country requirements and the requirements of various membership organizations.

Voluntary reporting requirements are often selected somewhat randomly and companies end up complying with sets of voluntary reporting requirements that may not make sense when looked at objectively.

Too often companies end up complying with one or more voluntary requirements that simply don’t make sense when looked at through a value and efficiency lens.

Those that do often find that there is little marginal value in some of their voluntary areas and that there may be other voluntary areas where there is a much better value/cost relationship.

Even fewer look at where and how they may extract more corporate level value from their overall reporting commitments.

5.       CSR is ghettoized. 
There has been significant improvement in this area in recent years but it is still often the case that CSR is often somewhat of a bolt-on piece of the corporate structure.

Fortunately, there are increasing numbers of companies that have CSR and related interests represented at decision making levels throughout the organization

6.       Internal CSR communications & buy-in need improvement. 
While there is much improvement in de-ghettoizing CSR and integrating CSR into the corporate structure there is still much work to be done around internal communications.

Too often CSR is clearly seen as important and core to overall shareholder value by those in CSR and related functions and by the CEO.

Other functions and areas recognize that CSR is important but do not understand clearly how and why it is important to their role and the success of their work.

Those responsible for CSR often have a lot of room for improvement in internal communications and value alignment.

There is more discussion on this in Engaging internal stakeholders:  Seven proven strategies   here

7.       Confused strategy for external CSR communications.   
Few companies have invested the time and resources to develop effective CSR communication strategies at the site level or at the corporate level.

Too often CSR communications is ad-hoc and sporadic, ranging from ‘shout from the rooftops’ to ‘keep your head down and mouth shut’ strategies.  Sometime both at the same time.

Communications is a very efficient way to extract more shareholder value from CSR spending and yet too often this is literally left to whim and chance.

8.       We’ll get to it soon. 
CSR efficiency (especially efficiency at creating shareholder value) too often ends up in the important but not urgent category and simply doesn’t get done.  

Executives and managers recognize that there are inefficiencies, that there are value opportunities and that there are likely unnoticed risks and threats. 

They know that a CSR SWOT should be done.  But, the urgency of day to day demands and priorities keeps pushing this out and it doesn’t get done.

This isn’t to blame the leaders and practitioners of CSR, nor the C-suite team.  It is simply the reality of companies and leaders working hard to keep up with a dynamic and rapidly evolving field.

However, a CSR SWOT does represent an important opportunity for companies, especially in these days of economic uncertainty and increasing budgetary pressures.

A CSR SWOT can often uncover value, opportunities and risks that have developed and gone undetected as managers and executives have scrambled to keep up with the rapidly evolving CSR space in recent years.

An objective and dispassionate ‘fresh-eyes’ review will often find:
  • Opportunities for increased shareholder and societal value from existing CSR budgets and programs.
  • Opportunities for improved efficiency and effectiveness in CSR/Sustainability reporting
  •  Unnoticed risks and threats

Executives and managers who can’t find the time to undertake a CSR SWOT should look to bring in someone who can bring fresh-eyes and fresh perspectives and just do it.  

A CSR SWOT can help your organization to better support and
capture value from your CSR budgets and activities.

A CSR SWOT doesn’t have to be comprehensive to be valuable.  Most can be done, at least to a preliminary level, without travel to project sites and remote locations.

A CSR SWOT can help companies to unlock new value and better manage risks.  But, only if they actually get done and not just thought about.

Friday 23 January 2015

13 mistakes that prevent and destroy multi-sector partnerships

The private sector is playing an increasingly important role in development.  Companies from all sectors, including especially the extractive and fast moving consumer goods sectors, are investing in development initiatives in areas such as education, health, poverty alleviation and livelihoods, environment and gender equality.

Chasms often separate natural development partners

The impact areas of these private sector social responsibility investments closely maps the impact areas outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and anticipated impact areas of the soon to be adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The MDGs and SDGs serve to guide the development activities of the member countries of the United Nations and the vast majority of development NGOs and organizations.  Official Development Agencies, national governments, multi-lateral and international organizations and NGOs focus development efforts on areas such as education, health, poverty alleviation and livelihoods, environment and gender equality

While the various private, public and civil society organizations noted above approach development with a focus on common areas, they often bring unique skills, experience and capacities to the work.

In many cases these are complimentary and synergistic, at first glance, would seem to naturally invite partnerships and collaboration and the various sectors (e.g., ODA agencies, private sector, NGOs, etc.) even have stated goals of collaborating with each other in support of their development efforts. 

Value is lost when natural partners can't bridge the chasm that separates them

Simple logic would suggest that collaboration would result in efficiencies and more and better development impact per dollar spent or effort expended.

Yet, the reality is that, while there are notable exceptions, this collaboration is not easy to achieve.  Whether on an individual project level or a strategic organizational level these natural partnership opportunities too often do not result in effective partnerships. 

Value is lost for the organizations involved but the real price is paid by their community partners who do not receive the full impact that they could have received had these natural partners found an effective way to collaborate. 

Here are thirteen common reasons why they start and fail, or even fail to start.

1. Egos of main actors
This is common to the destruction of many different sorts of partnerships.  What makes multi-sector CSR partnerships more prone to ego related challenges is that, in many cases, the partnering organizations will have a general history of opposition or antagonism towards each other.

For industry to embrace and support the role that NGOs and development agencies can play in the success of a business or project is relatively new.  Similarly for NGOs and development agencies to acknowledge the important role of the private sector in development projects.  In many cases the sectors, or at least many organizations within them, have been actively opposed to each other.

These means that in some instances a 180 degree about face is necessary along with an acknowledgement that previous perspectives were flawed.  This can often be overlooked during the giddy early days of a partnership but will often come back in a destructive way as the partnership plays out over time

2.  Didn’t hang in through the tough stuff
Every partnership is bound to run into difficult challenges over time.  Project issues arise, personnel changes, partners have strong opposing views on external issues, finances come under pressure, etc.   Sometimes these come out of the blue and sometimes there is a slow build up over time.

In many instances if the partners can hang in there the issues will either resolve themselves, or they will find a mutually acceptable way to work through them.

However, for reasons discussed above, there are latent pressures in the partnership that can surface when other issues emerge.  This can make it more difficult to work through the inevitable issues and challenges that always show up.

Those partnerships that survive over time will find ways to hang in and work through the rough spots and will also actively seek to reduce the latent pressures.

Conflict and differences of opinion happen in every partnership.  All the time.  
There are ways to systematically prevent conflict and disagreement 
from destroying partnerships

3. Internal buy-in wasn’t there

Multi-sector CSR partnerships are often developed and negotiated by front line personnel with some level of support or acquiescence from corporate and NGO head offices.  They frequently end up in place and operating without ever really getting the attention of key senior stakeholders.

In many cases the partnerships bring both an expanded and enhanced ability to achieve some of an organization’s objectives and, along with that, constraints in other areas. 

As partnership and relations issues arise, as they always will, there is sometimes a sudden realization in the leadership ranks that the partnership has taken away degrees of freedom to act.  This can be exacerbated by historical organizational opposition as noted above.

When this happens you can have key internal stakeholders, who hadn’t really paid attention to the creation of the partnership and don’t have any ‘ownership’ in it, start to question both the partnership itself and the general principle of multi-sector CSR partnerships.

Keeping everyone pulling in the same direction takes ongoing effort.  
Just because everyone pulls together at the start doesn't meant that they will keep pulling in the same direction.  
Many things can happen to change aligned interests to opposing forces.

     4. Only business is efficient mentality

Historically there has been a strong theme in many business sectors that business is inherently more efficient.  The theme maintains that because it more directly subjected to the demands of the marketplace, business is somehow more efficient than NGOs and governments.

Dig deep enough and you will find that perspective exists somewhere in most businesses and sometimes can permeate individual businesses and even large swaths of industry sectors.

This mentality can surface when problems arise and present barriers that prevent the challenges from being worked through objectively or prevent constructive solutions from emerging. 

Too often you will see much effort being put into finding confirming evidence of inefficiency, rather than a balanced analysis looking for examples of efficiency and inefficiency and their underlying causes. 

This can create a dangerous spiral that can undermine even the best partnerships.

      5. Business is too greedy mentality

The NGO equivalent of the Only business is efficient mentality is the Business is too greedy perspective

NGO partners that fall into this perspective are prone to examining business decisions only from this vantage point and not taking a more balance and objective approach to understand the ‘why’ of business decisions.

Confirming evidence is sought and focused on and more and more partnership and operational decisions of the business are seen as being based, at least partly on greed

There is another discussion on the relationship between greed and shareholder interest, which are often quite different.  Greed based decisions tend to be short-term and with narrowly defined interests.  Longer-term strategic shareholder interests are broader and provide much more scope for interest alignment.

As with the only business is efficient mentality the business is greedy perspective can create a partnership killing spiral of unbalanced confirming evidence.

Strategy and insight can turn opposing forces into aligned interests

        6. Not enough entrepreneurship and innovation

        There is generally a high level of entrepreneurial energy and innovation amongst the partners at       the beginning of a partnership.  In many cases they would not have gotten together to launch the       partnership without the innovation and entrepreneurship of at least one of them.

        As time goes by the partnership activities can become routine and the workers and leaders stop         looking for ways to do things better and/or new areas that they might collaborate on that would be   mutually beneficial.

       Over time a stagnation can develop and energy drains from the partnership.  This can end up  killing the partnership itself but more often it simply makes the partnership much more vulnerable  to the impacts of other mistakes.

Diverse and committed partners collaborating and innovating 
together can solve complex puzzles

     7. Didn't get to know each other deep enough and broad enough

      Often partnerships will form quickly around a specific opportunity.  Partners will see that by collaborating they can advance their interests and objectives further than they could by working individually.

      This can create a euphoria that tends to generate a forward momentum and the partners don’t take time to get to know each other well enough or deep enough.  This happens at the individual and the organizational level.
      Then when issues arise and differences emerge they are often seen as surprises and somehow a betrayal of what was represented at the onset.  This can put a lot of strain on the relationships.

     8. Organizational stakeholders didn't support it

      Every organization has a range of internal and external stakeholders, many of which have significant influence and impact.  Sometimes a partnership will develop and create conflict with key stakeholders.

      For example, many NGOs rely on individual and organizational donors for financing and for general support.  In some cases the same individuals and organizations are also writing checks to support advocacy NGOs that are in direct opposition to either the industry sector, or in some cases the actual partner (this can often happen where an industry partner has multiple projects, some of which are actively opposed by advocacy organizations)

      This places leadership in uncomfortable positions and may result in the need to make hard choices if agreeing to disagree isn’t a viable option.

      Similar situations can occur when development agencies begin to develop mechanisms that either enable direct funding of industry led CSR projects or that will facilitate or partner with such projects.

      These development agencies often have key stakeholders that may be generally opposed to certain industries like extractives, or have unrealistic social performance expectations.  In many cases the development agency will also be providing direct or indirect support to the opposing organization.

Internal support and understanding is critical if an organization wants to be a strong partner
(see Seven proven strategies for getting colleagues onboard with CSR

      9. NGOs look at company as just a set of deep-pockets

      A deep and nuanced understanding of the other partners is so critical.  Too often as the euphoria of the early days wears off deep seated, underlying assumptions and perspectives emerge that can be poisonous.

      Partners (individuals and the institutions) forget that all partners are in the project because there is something in it for them.

     NGOs can start to perceive corporate partners as just a set of deep pockets, of money that should just be allocated in support of community and NGO priorities, without a thought for what’s in it for the company and how to optimize value across all partners and stakeholders.

      10. Company looks at NGO as just a do-gooder

      In the same was as NGOs can see companies as just deep pockets, companies can often develop a perspective that NGO partners are only interested in doing good works and not understand the many other interests and realities of a modern NGO

     11. Project solitudes. 

      No real collaboration between partners.  If not nurtured project partners can end up withdrawing, or being relegated to project silos.  This can result in each contributing individually, but can lose all of the potential synergy from the diversity of experience, perspectives and insights that each bring.

When this happens it can suck the energy out of a project and be the start of a downward spiral. 

It may seem easier to carve things into discreet silos and minimize collaborative interactions, and the disagreements, stresses and tensions that can come with them.  In the long run it is far better to work together and get stronger by working through the differences, and staying open to the synergy that can be found in diversity.

As the African proverb says. 

If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

Good partnerships go far.

      12.      Unrealistic cost expectations

      Cost expectations can be unrealistic.  Companies will sometimes think that NGOs will almost work for free, forgetting that they too have organizational and institutional overhead that needs to be covered.

      NGOs will sometimes think that companies have tons of money and shouldn’t be concerned about cost.

13.      Different standards around quality, flexibility / adaptability and reporting

This can be especially true when small, nimble companies partner with development agencies that have seemingly incomprehensible sets of reporting and operational requirements. 

This can be especially true in partnerships where one partner comes with compliance requirements and obligations that are foreign to the other.

      Multi-sector CSR partners can bring unique pieces of the puzzle to the table. They can create value and mitigate risk for all partners, and benefit society in the process.

      Often they can be difficult to create and even more difficult to maintain, but the effort can be worth it.

Friday 2 January 2015

Eleven strategies for maximizing value from CSR

Value is the theme that should unite all CSR projects and should be a key factor in major project decisions and strategies.

Value for shareholders, value for local communities, value for stakeholders; these are the considerations that should underpin program and budget decisions and actions.

If value is not central, what is? 

What can make a CSR project sustainable if value is not present?

Yet, too often the issue of CSR and value is looked at only peripherally, if at all.  It is almost as if somehow value is crass and CSR should be ‘above or beyond’ value considerations.

Hogwash!  Balderdash! Why else would industry, communities, development partners and others engage in and with CSR if not for creating, preserving or maintaining value?

CSR is truly a self-interested activity and has a much better chance of success when the value interests of industry and stakeholders can be aligned and maximized.

Over the last couple of decades of working on and analyzing CSR projects and activities across many industries and on all continents I’ve noticed some strategies for maximizing value from CSR.

These have worked quite consistently across industries, sectors and geographies.

That doesn’t mean that they all work, or even that they all apply all of the time.  But, if you are looking to maximize the value created through CSR this is a good list to review.  You may find some gems. 

This list of eleven strategies for maximizing value from CSR is applicable to all partners and stakeholders in CSR.

1.      Strategic partnerships
CSR is tough and expensive to do alone.  Strategic partnerships can bring incremental resources (financial and other), execution synergies, and an expanded network and enhanced sustainability to CSR initiatives.

But, be careful, partnerships take work and planning and can go off the rails if not developed and managed properly. 

Two steps are critical to developing partnerships that add value. 

The first is to ensure that there is a meaningful alignment of interests; that all parties can share at least some common objectives and approaches. 

The second is to get to know your partners well – see 13 mistakes that prevent and destroy multi-sector partnerships (

Partnerships can make your project smarter and stronger.  But, only if planned and executed well

2.      Communications
CSR should seldom be a stealth operation.  Neither should it be the focus of a ‘shout from the rooftop’ type of indiscriminate communication strategy.

Communicating the right messages to the right audiences at the right times and doing so in a way that they can hear and absorb the message can add a lot of value to most CSR projects.  Doing it wrong, or badly can destroy a lot of value.

Key audiences to keep in mind include partners, stakeholders, influencers and (often missed, or misunderstood) internal stakeholders.

For more detail on CSR communications see:  CSR Communications:  Eleven mistakes to avoid  (

For an example of when it made sense to run a CSR project in stealth mode see From Pariah to Exemplar:  Applying the six best practices (

3.      Internal synergies
Often you need to look no further than the next desk to find strategic opportunities to add value.

Engaging your internal colleagues can unlock value for shareholders and stakeholders and often enhance the long-term sustainability of CSR projects.

Some of the most efficient and effective ways to create community and stakeholder value may be through integrating corporate CSR objectives across corporate operations.

Local procurement, local hiring, enhanced training for locally engaged staff, employee volunteerism and other strategies and tactics can create value for shareholders, communities and other stakeholders.

In addition to the obvious synergies for companies, there is often an enhanced camaraderie amongst staff as a result of this sort of internal collaboration – and this can translate into value on other dimensions.

4.      Fresh-eyes review
Familiarity creates blindness, or at least vision problems!

Sometimes, quite often actually, a fresh set of experienced eyes can see opportunities (and challenges) that are easy to miss if you have been involved in a project day after day after day.

Experienced fresh eyes take less for granted, ask dumber questions.  Sometimes the dumbest questions can unearth the most amazing insights. 

Don’t hesitate to bring someone in who knows nothing about your project (but a lot about CSR and value) and have them take a look at where new or enhanced value may be found. 

There are frequently gems hidden in plain site that only a fresh set of eyes can see.
Fresh eyes can often spot value gems that are hidden in plain site

5.      Forget do-gooderism
If you are doing CSR because you want to save the world, or even just to save the adjoining village, do everyone a favour and resign.

Seriously, CSR is not about do-gooderism.  It is about hard-headed value creation, value optimization, risk management and other core business needs. 

If done well CSR can and does do a lot of good work and value creation for communities, stakeholders and society at large (and for shareholders too!).

But, always remember, that if you set out on a CSR journey with a plan to only do good works you are likely to stumble and fail and do damage rather than do good. 

And that is not a strategy that will produce much value for society, for shareholders or for you.

6.      Metrics and measurement
You can’t measure temperature with a speedometer!

The key to using metrics and measurement to unlock value is having project-appropriate metrics and measurement.

The metrics and measurement should drive from the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the project itself and not from some preconceived corporate or external framework.

We’ve all heard that you can’t manage what you can’t measure.  In CSR there is another every bit as true.

You can’t measure what you can’t measure!

Metrics need to fit the project and be as simple as possible.
If they don’t they cost money, cause frustration and accomplish little

Metrics and measurement are important for sure but sometimes corporate reporting frameworks, or directives to adhere to this or that global norm, standard or protocol, end up with the CSR frontline teams trying to measure the wrong things in the wrong ways.

Every CSR project should rigorously and systematically measure progress and key indicators and have appropriate frameworks for recording and analyzing the data. 

At the beginning of every project, or right now for those that started without this, there should be a thorough analysis of the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.

Why is the company investing time and money into this particular project and not another?  And ‘how’ can it track progress towards the ‘why’. 

This should give you the insights to help identify what metrics you need to track and measure.

The answers will generally be specific to each project so it stands to reason that the metrics that are tracked and managed would be unique as well.

Once you have settled on metrics you need to set up a systematic process for gathering them on a regular basis.

You also need to regularly review the metrics themselves.  It is not uncommon that a few months into a project it becomes evident that some new metrics need to be tracked and/or that some of the existing ones aren’t helpful to track.

What is key is to find the metrics and the data collection and analysis protocols that allow the project to efficiently track progress and use that information to constantly improve project management and implementation.

This isn’t to say that all corporate CSR frameworks should be ignored or abandoned, or that compliance with global norms and protocols is unimportant.  Far from it.

It is to say that project specific metrics that help you do a better job of managing and implementing a particular project are as important.  Sometimes even more important.

Good corporate frameworks should have the flexibility to accommodate and support project specific metrics and management.

Compliance with global norms, protocols and standards should be considered carefully and where/if they create too much added burden on CSR project management maybe they need to be reconsidered.

Get the metrics right and new value can emerge

7.      Strategic focus
How strategic and how sharp is your strategic focus? 

Some CSR programs end up looking like they are trying to be everything to everybody.

Most of these end up accomplishing very little except burning through budget and goodwill; both internal and external goodwill.

See the next point for what to focus on…
Lose focus and lose value.  Stay focused and create value.

8.      Systematically review CSR programs and their connection to value

Like most things in business and in life, CSR programs can get off track and out of focus.  They can drift this way or that, or the reasons they started may no longer exist.

Periodic reviews should be carried out on all CSR programs.  They don’t have to be complex but should answer some basic questions.

?         Why did this program start?  What was the original value proposition?

?         Is the original need still valid? 

?         Is it still as important as it was?

?         Is the program meeting that need effectively? 

?         Does meeting that need produce value for society AND shareholders?

?         If the program were just being launched now, is there anything that you would organize or do differently? 

?         Are you engaged with the right partners?  Are there new ones?  Are the old ones still the right partners?

For more information on reviewing CSR programs see Smarter CSR Budgets: Eight steps to connect budget to value (

9.      Interest alignment analysis
This is all about lining up what’s in it for you with what’s in it for them.

The essence of CSR is about aligning shareholder and societal interests in a way that produces value for both.

An interest alignment analysis examines CSR programs to ensure that value is produced for both society and shareholders. 

It also explores opportunities for additional value and alignment, which can help to identify and develop strategic partnership opportunities.

The essence of this process is discussed in Creating a CSR Program: in eight self-serving steps ( 

Aligning interests more effectively
increases value for shareholders and society

10.  Use consistent frameworks to understand value
Don’t expect value to emerge spontaneously, even if you are doing good work. 

Meandering through CSR projects waiting for value to show up may produce some results.  But, not many and not consistently.  And you should be fired for doing it!

Value happens when you plan for it and work for it. 

It helps to have a framework, or frameworks that help you to better understand value and how to optimize it so you are maximizing value for shareholders and stakeholders.

I often use a series of related frameworks based on a CSR Value Continuum.  You may have others that work as well or better.

What is important is to find a way that allows you to quickly and consistently analyze and understand the value dimensions of your CSR projects.

There is some discussion on the CSR Value Continuum and Shared Value in this CSR Thoughtpiece if you are interested.   CSR Value Continuum: A unique perspective on Shared Value (
The CSR Continuum is part of a series of frameworks that I've found to be quite helpful.  There are others.  Find one or more that work for you.

11.  Understand the value sustainability
How long does the value last?  Is it like OpEx or CapEx?

CSR programs and investments produce value (or they should!).  You can often find ways to generate and capture more value if you look at it in terms of time.

Does the value that your program produces last beyond the current period?  Will it continue to produce value over time?

It can help to think of it in terms of Operating expenses vs Capital expenses.  One produces value that is basically used up in the current period and the other produces value that lasts beyond the current period.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that CapEx type of CSR programs are necessarily better.  They aren’t.

What is important is to understand what type of CSR investment you are making and use that knowledge along with other insights and analysis as you seek to maximize value for shareholders and stakeholders

CSR investments can be broken into OpEx and CapEx types of investments


These eleven strategies for maximizing value from CSR have been developed over a lot of projects and with insights and support from a lot of colleagues and mentors.  If you find them helpful use them and share them.

If you don’t find them helpful I’m interested in your thoughts on how they could be more useful.  Remember, we all learn from and with each other.

CSR is about value.  Always be thinking of how to optimize and maximize value, for shareholders and society


To read other CSR Articles and Thoughtpieces click here>>>