Two interesting TED videos on Social Media

I have been browsing around on today and came across these fairly new videos about some aspects of Social Media which I wanted to share with everyone.


Adam Ostrow: After your final status update

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

A structured stakeholder engagement approach – The testing phase

In the first post about a structured stakeholder engagement approach, I outlined the first three practical steps when starting out with stakeholder engagement. All of these steps are based on my experience working in the CSR / Sustainability field over the past 10 years.

In this post I would like continue my stakeholder engagement series and outline the next three steps. I call them the ”testing phase” of a structured stakeholder engagement approach.

Recap of the first three steps

In the previous three steps, you as the initiator, 1) identified key stakeholder groups and 2) networked in your organisation to get to know who is talking to which stakeholder and which stakeholder group is not being talked and engaged by these people. Your last step was to create an internal stakeholder champions group of these employees/colleagues you identified, in order to get everyone to the table and share information about the external stakeholder groups and individual stakeholders.

Here are the next steps based on my experience when looking to follow a structured stakeholder engagement approach. I call it the “stakeholder engagement testing phase”.

Step 4: Your priority here should be to intensify the work within the new stakeholder experts group as outlined in the first post of this series. In order to get the most out of this unique group you need to make sure that it works properly. This is the most interesting and rewarding aspect of group work in my experience. Once you assembled such a group of experts your goal should be to make the most of it.

This is a quick 2 point check-list of what to keep in mind when looking at stakeholder engagement know-how within this group:

  • Who is the most senior person in the group? Will there be any issue with company-wide seniority systems or any kind of leadership expectation by the most senior person in the group? Make sure you address this if you feel that there could be a problem.
  • Try to keep everyone as creative as possible. Do not encourage “sticking-to-the -old-way”. Use this opportunity to really create something new. This will also the best motivation for all group members.

Step 5: Choose one external stakeholder from three key stakeholder groups and reach out to them with the help of your stakeholder experts in the group. You might think that this is a very obvious and too cautious move, but be aware of the fact that you are using a new group of stakeholder experts communicating in a unfamiliar and new way.

Also keep in mind that you usually only get one impression with the individual stakeholder representatives using your new engagement approach. This is your chance for a clean start. Use it.

Once you have made a good impression, the future work with these people and the organisations will be a lot easier.

Step 6: Gather the first feedback from these engagements and analyse it in your internal stakeholder expert group. This “trial engagement” needs to show you whether the direction your group has chosen is the proving to be a better way of engaging stakeholders.

The way you chose to analyse the outcome of this engagement is really depending on the goals you have set within your group and organsation in general. Only keep this in mind: Any kind of engagement needs to involve both sides being engaged. If you feel in any way that this is not the case, within your stakeholder group or as a result of feedback from your stakeholder, you need to go back and make changes,as tough as it might seem.

Ray Anderson – The loss of a sustainability leader

It fills me with sadness to write this post but today I heard that Ray Anderson one of the greatest pioneers in CSR / Sustainability passed away several days ago.
For me he was one of the CSR / Sustainability heroes in the field. What he achieved for the global role of CSR / Sustainability was enormous and I always admired his enthusiasm and dedication not only to the overall topic but also about how to conduct responsible business within the organization. We have many experts preaching this but not many can actually show how it is being done within a global business.

I learned from him to not see CSR / Sustainability as black and white but rather to see it as an integral part of every business no matter what business sector you work in.

He also had the rare talent to communicate difficult subjects in such a understandable way that everyone listing could directly relate to what he was talking about. A truely unique individual.

This is a great video of him talking about the business logic of sustainability. An all-time classic and something that will go into my video library for sure.

Here are some more tributes about this CSR / Sustainability pioneer:

News Websites


Introducing the new redesigned blog

I am happy to report that I finished the design of my blog yesterday (All done by the great people at Go Yippi in Berlin)). The purpose of the update was to achieve a more compact view of the different blog elements and to provide you with the content you are interested as quickly as possible.

These are the major differences/changes to the previous blog template:

  • I now have two sidebars instead of one very long bar
  • I moved the navigation bar below the URL and picture to create a more compact reading experience
  • The “About this blog” is now located next to the main blog image of me to make it easier to get what this blog is about for any new visitor
  • As a result of the more compact elements I can now include more “Recent posts” which will make it easier for everyone to directly find what they might have missed
  • I now included an “Imprint” page with detailed copyright, analytics cookies and other information required by German law since this blog is hosted in Germany now
  • The text of the individual blog post is larger in comparison to the old template. This hopefully makes for easier reading
  • The last significant change was to move the list of my domains to my company website. This section only confused my readers from the feedback I got from you.

So what do you think? All feedback is much appreciated and if you notice any bugs please let me know as well.

What part do you play in promoting CSR / Sustainability?

I have been blogging about CSR / Sustainability since 2008 now and see blogging as part of my contribution for progressing CSR / Sustainability across the globe.

But I am only one little dot making up the whole CSR / Sustainability picture. There are so many more great people across the globe doing a great job making a difference in this business sector.

Why not tell us about what part you play in promoting CSR / Sustainability? Are you involved in CSR reports, communication, research/academia, a blogger, etc.? I would love to hear about what you do.