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Intrapreneurial Behavior and Robert’s Rules (2 of 2)

Posted by Editorial Staff on Wed, 2010-03-24 00:00

By Cheryl Kiser, Managing Director of the Lewis Initiative at Babson College

In interviewing Robert it was clear that building a new venture within a large scale organization such as eBay was challenging, and required the discretionary effort of those employees who had day jobs but were motivated by the idea of addressing a social challenge through the company’s core business assets.

Some of “Robert’s Rules” that he’s drawn from his experience are:

1.  Learn as much as you can about the opportunity you’re pursuing

Understand the market deeply.  Prior to formalizing their operational plan, Robert and his team had conversations with over 125 industry organizations and target consumer groups to understand the landscape, gain new knowledge and discover opportunities. They also learned as much as they could about how to adapt eBay’s core business to their new market.

2.  Think big – don’t limit yourself

Robert’s idea might have been simple but it was not small.  It was about economic development,  and creating market access for the world’s entrepreneurs.  Wondering with whom he should talk, early on he picked up the phone and called The World Bank. Eventually he got to a senior director who told Robert that his timing could not have been more perfect because they had been talking about ways to create more market demand for artisans and producers throughout the world. Various teams at The World Bank had...

BCLC: Past and Present

Posted by Stephen Jordan on Tue, 2010-03-23 15:55

While BCLC was incorporated ten years ago, its spiritual founding happened the year before at a conference called “Corporate Citizenship and Globalization.”

If you think corporate citizenship is hard to explain now, it was even more difficult then.  When I walked out in the bright sunshine to meet our morning keynote, Ted Turner, he greeted me with, “What am I here to talk about again?”

We had invited him because a few months earlier, he had caused a sensation by making a billion dollar gift to the United Nations.  Why would he do such a thing?  What was the logic behind it?

As we dug deeper, we began to discover some very interesting facts.  Companies spent ten times more on community relations than they did on government relations.  The number of non-profits had quadrupled since 1980, and they controlled a trillion dollars worth of assets in the United States. 

We also found that companies were increasingly exploring ways to take direct action through partnership, philanthropy, employee engagement, and other vehicles to solve issues such as education, wellness, and community development that had historically not been considered part of their cost of doing business.  Ted Turner, it turned...

Celebrating World Water Day

Posted by Taryn Bird on Mon, 2010-03-22 19:53

Today, March 22, is World Water Day (WWD). WWD is held annually on this day as a means to focus attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.

This year, the UN has titled the theme of WWD "Clean Water for a Healthy World." Around the world, organizations are hosting events to raise awareness about water scarcity and sanitation issues.

On February 19, BCLC hosted our first Global Corporate Citizenship Issue Series and its focus was on water. Through the half day forum, we discussed best practice partnership models in the water sector and highlighted the work of Dow Chemical and Global Water...

Celebrating World Water Day

Posted by Taryn Bird on Mon, 2010-03-22 15:50

Today, March 22, is World Water Day (WWD).  WWD is held annually on this day as a means to focus attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.

This year, the UN has titled the theme of WWD “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”  Around the world, organizations are hosting events to raise awareness about water scarcity and sanitation issues.

On February 19, BCLC hosted our first Global Corporate Citizenship Issue Series and its focus was on water.  Through the half day forum, we discussed best practice partnership models in the water sector and highlighted the work of Dow Chemical and Global Water Challenge; ITT Corporation and Mercy Corps; and Diageo and CHF International.

Following the event, BCLC created a Global Issues web portal dedicated to water that highlights our member companies’ related programs....

Intrapreneurial Behavior and eBay’s Robert Chatwani (1 of 2)

Posted by Editorial Staff on Mon, 2010-03-22 00:00

By Cheryl Kiser, Managing Director of the Lewis Initiative at Babson College

Over the last 12 years as I had the privilege of working with some of the world’s most successful companies and equally impressive corporate citizens, I noticed that many of the attributes of the individuals who drove some of the best corporate citizenship/CSR programs were those of an entrepreneur.  This article is about one such entrepreneur inside eBay, Robert Chatwani, who serves as the company’s Director of Global Citizenship.

In his prior role, Robert was the General Manager of WorldofGood.com by eBay, the company’s marketplace for fair trade and sustainable products.  I chose to interview Robert because what he has achieved at eBay under its Global Citizenship umbrella is quite extraordinary and came about because of a culture that supported and encouraged “intrapreneurial behavior.”

This article describes how programs like Robert’s actually get started and end up making...

Top Ten BCLC Moments

Posted by Stephen Jordan on Fri, 2010-03-19 15:46

Here’s the first top-ten list in our multipart “ten” campaign – a celebration of our ten years in existence and a project to help educate the public on the history, milestones, and trends in CSR.

The list is titled BCLC Moments, and featured is ten of the greatest moments in BCLC’s ten-year history. The list was released last night at BCLC’s 10th anniversary celebration at the U.S. Chamber headquarters. 

10. Social Networking (2009)

Our dive into the world of social networking has allowed BCLC to engage stakeholders in dialogue and information sharing in an unprecedented way. We’re embracing new technologies all the time, including placing our annual Partnership Award selection process on a public online voting platform that resulted in more than 24,000 individual votes and 1,000 positive comments about business and nonprofit partnerships.

People are talking freely about the business sector online — whether our brands are participating in the discussion or not. It’s imperative for companies to have a presence in the online community, so know that you can depend on BCLC now and going forward to help you engage in this space in a strategic way.

9. Corporate Stewardship Awards Category (2003)

Then-Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and Harvard Business Professor Michael Porter (pictured) joined...

The “ten” Campaign

Posted by Katie Loovis on Thu, 2010-03-18 19:47

What do you think are the ten hottest topics in corporate social responsibility (CSR) right now?  And who are the ten most influential people?  How about the ten best business schools for CSR?
 
Later this evening, the U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) is launching "ten" -- a ten-month multimedia campaign complete with forums, an interactive portal, and a series of ten top-ten lists to help educate the public on the history, milestones, and trends in CSR. 

Starting tonight, BCLC will release one top ten list a month for the next ten months.  Here’s a sneak-peak of the lists:

1.     BCLC Moments: The greatest moments in BCLC’s ten-year history, including most outstanding reports, events, speeches, and initiatives.

2.     Movies: The most momentous movies in CSR.  These popular movies either show business as a force for good and lifting people out of poverty - or – portray business with a negative viewpoint as destructive to society.

3.     Misperceptions: The most common misperceptions of average citizens towards business and CSR.

4.     Worn-out Words: The most overused, tired words in CSR.

5.     Topics: The hottest topics in CSR right now.

6.     Business Schools: The best business schools right now for their inclusion and application of CSR into the...

Intel Celebrates "World-Changing Innovation"

Posted by Rebecca Freyvogel Mousseau on Thu, 2010-03-18 19:45

Inspired ... That is how I felt after enjoying an evening at the Intel Science Talent Search Awards Gala on March 16 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The prestigious awards celebrate some of the most talented high school men and women scientists.

Forty bright scientists from across America were selected as finalists from 1,736 entries, their work involving research such as experimenting with drug resistances to breast cancer to creating software that would improve the orbit of spacecrafts.
 
The 40 finalists gathered in D.C. to present their projects to judges and to experience Capitol Hill meetings with members of Congress. The finalists were recognized and winners announced at the very special awards gala with Intel President and CEO Paul Otellili, Society for Science & the Public President Elizabeth Marincola, family, and mentors. "These young scientists are proof that curious, eager minds coupled with inspiring, knowledgeable teachers are the foundation for world-changing innovation," praised Otellini.

The talented scientists also had an opportunity to hear from guest speaker Thomas Freidman,...

No Medals for the USA in CSR

Posted by Drs. Brad Googins & Phil Mirvis on Wed, 2010-03-17 20:16

America is justly proud of its athletes in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  Thirty-seven medals topped the field, and showed the USA's commitment and its athletes' dedication in a global competition traditionally dominated by other nations.  Hey, Hey, USA!

Now let's look at another global competition that determines which nations have the most socially responsible companies.  Here you might expect U.S. companies with their wealth, traditions of community support and charitable giving, and increasing emphasis on the broader dimensions of CSR (e.g., good governance, sustainability) to take home the gold.

 Here you might expect U.S. companies with their wealth, traditions of community support, and increasing emphasis on the broader dimensions of CSR to take home the gold.

The Medal Results:  Corporations based in India win the gold; in Ireland, the silver; and in Norway, the bronze.  How about the USA?  We're #9 out of 32 nations competing.

Before getting riled up, you should rightly ask:  What's the competition about?  And, how do you win?

Rating Corporate Social Responsibility

These rankings come from The Reputation Institute, a global research and advisory firm that measures the reputations of the largest 600 companies annually through over 70,000 online interviews with the general...

The World Is Fractal

Posted by Stephen Jordan on Tue, 2010-03-16 19:41

The world is clearly not flat, it is fractal!  The divisions between rich and poor, sick and well, corrupt and honest, competent and ignorant are repeated at the global level, the regional level, the country level, the state level, the city level, the neighborhood level, and the individual level.

Haiti is a wreck.  We are deeply concerned about what is going on in Chile.  We receive desperate appeals for help from Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan.  Activists ask us about CSR in China, others worry about the Ring of Fire across the Pacific Rim.

But as soon as we start to mobilize resources to respond to crises overseas, we receive emails about Cleveland, Detroit, and south Florida and how we can't neglect the crises here at home. 

When we try to tackle how to help places in the U.S., some of our colleagues say that is too big a job, and we should just focus on charter schools in DC or spreading information about wellness programs.

Then, we get comments from job seekers questioning how companies can even think about engaging in anything outside of their core competencies, and how can they get a job in this environment?

The truth is that the more that companies lift their sights to global markets the more they step into a welter of complicated challenges.

Trying to solve problems at one level can ignite a whole series of land mines at other levels of human interest.  Why should a company invest in Kenya when it  has ...

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