Freeman Cebu Business

How courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take!

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

My valuable partner in the Integrity Initiative, Jose Cortez, visited me the other day and we extensively discussed the above subject, being both convinced that sustainability and working for the common good are needed by contributing to communities and protecting the environment.

The runaway climate change and the rampant inequality are ravaging the world and costing a fortune. Who will help lead us to a better future?

These massive dual challenges – and other profound shifts, such as pandemics, resource pressures, and shrinking biodiversity – threaten our very existence. Other megatrends, such as the push for a clean economy and the unprecedented focus on diversity and inclusion, offer exciting opportunities to heal the world, and prosper by doing so. Government cannot do this alone. Business must step in.

The question of cause is, how you can profit by fixing the world’s problems instead of creating them. To thrive today and tomorrow, companies have to become ‘net positive’ – giving more to the world than they take.

A net positive company:

1. Improves the lives of everyone it touches, from customers and suppliers to employees and communities, greatly increasing long-term returns in the process.

2. Takes ownership of all the social and environmental impacts its business model creates. This in turn provides opportunities for innovation, savings, and building a more humane, connected, and purpose-driven culture.

3. Partners with competitors, civil society, and governments (national and local) to drive transformative change no single group or enterprise could deliver alone.

This is no utopian fantasy. Courageous leaders are already making it real – and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Net Positive sets out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world so desperately needs.

Jose Cortez and I have both read the exciting book ‘net positive’ written by Paul Polman and Andrew Winston, published by the Harvard Business Review Press.

We are both inspired to push the net positive ideas and recommendation in the Philippines and are looking for partners to create change – in government, in business and in communities.

We are convinced that these ideas will create the changes we all want:

* Think of labor not as a cost, but as an asset to nurture.

* Actively develop strategies to combat inequality and ensure just transitions, where jobs are changing.

* Collaborate with suppliers, governments, and civil society to embrace the challenges of solving broader social problems like youth unemployment and skill development.

* Get off the sidelines and speak out publicly, alone, or collectively, to protect democracy, freedom, science and truth.

* Take the long-term view on working for the common good and continue to work directly with communities.

We also see five critical traits that help create a net positive leader:

* A sense of purpose, duty, and service.

* Empathy: a high level of compassion, humility, and humanity.

* More courage.

* The ability to inspire and show moral leadership.

* Seeking transformative partnerships.

Let’s jointly rethink the way human beings – CEOs, politicians, and activists – can ‘thrive by giving more that they take’.



Jose Cortez and I are looking forward to hearing your responses, so that we can design actions to achieve the important changes. Please email us at [email protected]

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