Updated: Jan 15, 2020
As Impact Investing has grown upon the shoulders of SRI, ESG, TBL it is a fact that it has gained far greater momentum than its predecessors put together. However, the euphoria around Impact Investing is placing a shadow on something that can have a far greater positive effect on financial returns, humanity, and the planet, and that is Impact Management (CSR/Corporate Citizenship).
Many experts agree, that over the next 50 years the futures highest and most sustainable corporate profits (including financial), will be delivered by leaders who embrace Impact Leadership and Management (CSR). They will do it by becoming the platinum standard of how they steward the human, financial, and environmental resources they require to operate their companies. In addition, the greatest accumulation of wealth on earth will be amassed by people who innovate solutions for the social and environmental problems we face.
Accordingly, if we simply look at America (let alone the world), we will see the profound impact that a true adoption of Impact Leadership and Management (CSR) would have.There are a little over 26,000,000 registered companies in the United States. Combined they employ over 129,000,000 people, they touch every community in the US, and they all use financial, human and environmental resources to run their businesses.
The public companies alone hold more than $2 Trillion in cash assets on their balance sheets, indeed some of it is levered, and too much remains off shore, however for the focus of this conversation, let us assume that the cash on hand at private companies makes up the difference.So what could happen to companies and society if every business leader truly embraced Impact Management and Leadership (CSR)? Current research shows that they would:
Generate higher revenues
Positively effect 129,000,000 employees and the people/communities they support
Produce greater margins
Help increase the velocity of capital and standard of living in virtually every community in America
Deliver enhanced bottom line results
Reduce the effects of climate change and help steward and regenerate imperative parts of our environmental ecosystem
Increase brandy and equity values
Support investments in Impact/Purposed/Mission driven businesses while making a profit
Decrease employee and customer/client turnover
Help imperative initiatives get to scale
Hire the best and brightest talent
Bring off shore capital back on shoreTransform finance
The current management theory being taught at undergrad and grad schools, and being passed on at companies is wrong. That, in and of itself has to change, which is why we run our Executive Leadership Impact Management Retreats.
CSR professionals touch every department/function in an organization. They are playing ever more important roles in branding, marketing, PR, driving sales, and setting internal cultures. No longer are they a window/connection to a corporations stakeholders, they have actually become the eyes (windows) in to the soul of a company. We believe, that CEO searches will now focus heavily on CSR and Corporate Citizenship professionals, because they truly are the Impact Leaders and Managers in the room.
Impact investing is a very important piece of the whole systems approach to achieve a sustainable future, but when you simply look at the numbers, Impact Management & Leadership (CSR) can have a much greater, and more profound effect.