The traditional business paradigm encouraged companies to secure their assets by remaining isolated from other corporations. While businesses still must protect their products and designs, there is a sentiment today that appreciates the benefits that the world gains when all business subscribe to collaboration to solve global issues.
The catalyst for this shift is the fact that business collaboration is necessary in a socially sustainable world (from Mashable Social Media). The advent of the virtual world and the social media storm that ensued has demonstrated the revolutionary power that exists when people work together.
Certainly, businesses must operate with a certain level of autonomy in order to stay competitive in the marketplace, but appropriate collaboration can strengthen both the companies that participate and the world as a whole.
To make the most of your company’s collaborative experiences, consider these formats:
1. At MIT, there is a Sloan Social Impact Club to inspired individuals to collaborate with the power of businesses to create a socially sustainable impact on the world. From a select group of 20 students, fellowships and internships were pursed at different world organizations, such as the World Economic Forum, and Open Capital Advisors.
2. Collaboration across industry sectors combines great ideas from minds of divergent disciplines. Nike, Starbucks, Levi Strauss & Company, Sun Microsystems, and Timberland joined forces in 2008 to create the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP). Each of these corporations has its own perspective of its industry, but they share one common vision on a particular problem that faces the world. Consequently, the above companies have each agreed to reduce their greenhouse gases by using renewable energy. In addition, they work with local and national governments to stimulate new jobs to protect their planet’s climate.
3. When competitors from the same industry collaborate, they can troubleshoot issues that are unique to their sector. The Sustainability Consortium is comprised of grocery chains such as Safeway, General Mills, Proctor and Gamble, and Pepsi Co. that are working together to fund scientific research that explores sustainable global food supply for the world. The challenge of this consortium covers consumers, supply chains, science and global regulations.
4. Companies are also seeking out dialogue with their suppliers and contractors. This type of collaboration tends to focus on sustainability, environmental responsibility, ethics, and compliance. For instance, Walmart has taken a bold step to educate its supply chain in regards to sustainable business practices that will protect the world’s resources. As one of the world’s largest corporations, they have issued a Walmart Green Student Challenge to build upon stronger ideas. The winning idea will change the way business is done, be financially justifiable and provide a significant sustainability benefit.
5. Whereas companies used to only collaborate with the government to offset the ills caused by some natural disaster, they are beginning to work alongside governmental agencies to battle a variety of the nation’s toughest crises. 80 companies, including Campbell’s Soup, Kraft Foods, Kellogg, General Mills, and PepsiCo, have worked alongside The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation formed by Michelle Obama. Together they work to reduce the rates of American obesity, especially in children.
No matter the forum, you choose for your company’s collaboration, your business is sure to benefit from the experience as much as our world. Where you are large or small, your customers, established and potential, are sure to appreciate the responsibility you accept to bring about positive changes in our world. Plus, you are highly likely to readily apply some of the strategies discussed to strengthen your business in ways you had never imagined.
Please contact us at 3rd Eagle to acquire the expert knowledge to efficiently support your contributions to corporate collaboration for social sustainability.