Is your social investment, business or personal?

This week has been one of the most emotionally challenging weeks this year.

Three different incidents, three different roller coasters…

  • The first helped me to realise that having a crystal clear vision built on collaboration and a common goal is key, to enable you to overcome any obstacle.
  • The second helped me to realise that faith and hope are two elements of human nature, that both break you and empower you at the same time and that there is a sense of beauty and wonder in that.
  • The third helped me to truly understand my purpose and why I love helping businesses become successful by making sustainable social impacts.

Without boring you with the details of all three incidents, it is fair to say that we live in an unbalanced world – a world full of prejudice, of ignorance, of hate. A world of frustration, highs and lows.

Would you agree, that It takes immense courage to face any negativity and imbalance in this world?

Yet, it is the negativity that forces you to reveal yourself TO yourself. Negativity breeds character and ambition and allows you to see that your difference has a fluctuating level of value, dependant upon different circumstances and experiences, even when they are not your own.

But it also brings a sense of realism and a renewed focus on what your purpose has always been, and that is something that every individual and business should and must embrace, in order to achieve over and above what is expected of you.

So, what has this got to do with CSR?

Everything!

With over 15+ years experience of working with decision makers and in my own personal opinion, personal development is the very foundation of solid CSR practice by any organisation, in any sector.

Social Investment is a complex area, but one where I have built a reputation for the personal development aspect at a senior level – I’m continually fascinated by questions such as how do executives think? Why do they think that way? How does that impact on the strategies they create and the results they achieve? Do they really understand their diverse stakeholders or is it a purely superficial connection?

Questions I welcome, as personal development strips away the notion that the ability to meet social needs is based on academics, rank or class. It forces you to get to the real root cause of oppression and social deprivation. A personal development approach engages you in a self-reflective process that challenges your beliefs, ideals and comfort zone position, in regards to CSR because you, literally, have people’s lives in the palm of your corporate hand – this is the same, whether it’s the decision-maker or teams of staff.

Your vision for social investment for your business must incorporate personal reflection, dealing with personal conflicts and a real understanding of your stakeholders. The trust in any stakeholder relationship must be both earned and respected, built up together between corporate and community for the strategy to work. Finally, we all must look back to where we have come from to know where we are going, as the lessons of history have a lot to teach us for the future.

At Cultiv8 Solutions, we help decision-makers to really step back and look at their social investment aims. We help them to identify both the business and social returns possible, but in an authentic and sustainable way. The strategies that are then created, delivered and measured are then founded on personal relationships and inclusion.

As my nephew likes to tell me, time and time again “I keep it real!”

Do you?