Today I had any interesting and very emotional argument after a business meeting. The topic was on the upcoming general elections here in our county, North Rhein-Westfalia. The business colleague asked me which party I supported and I said I would support the so called Pirate Party here in Germany. The collegue did not like this answer to say the least. The next five minutes where spend with arguments from his side why they where no real political party and why their party programme was so immature and so on and on.
My main argument for why I would vote for them is that Germany 1) needs to change to be prepared for a more sustainable future and 2) that most people in my age-group and younger are so disillusioned with their future prospects that there needs to be change for all our sakes. There are a lot of other aspects that need to change but these where the ones that are most important in my view at the moment. And if the Pirate Party would be successful in upsetting the established parties this would be a sign that more people want the change as well. 10% of all votes would send a great sign to the establishment that we the voters are not willing to go along with the mismanagement of Germany.
Try to promote change wherever and whenever
Usually I do not like arguments (I find them a waist of time usually) but I needed to go through this argument with my colleague in my view because I strongly believe in the need for change here in Germany. I felt I needed to promote change there and at that particular moment. And you know what? It felt really good. It felt liberating and it felt like the right thing to do.
This week was the Unilever week as Toby Webb rightly predicted last week. Unilever needs to be congratulated on the very open and direct stakeholder engagement this week. I did not direcly participate due to other commitments but the overall feedback I have seen was very positive.
Stay sceptical on CSR / Sustainability stakeholder engagement
Despite all the these great efforts do I have a simple but in my view important message today: Always stay sceptical when you come across stakeholder engagement campaigns. Most of the campaigns have only two goals unfortunately, (1) to increase sales and (2) to enhance the reputation of this particular corporation or brand.
Local stakeholder engagement is true stakeholder engagement
Is all stakeholder engagement spin? The clear answer is NO. If you are interested in finding true stakeholder engagement examples then you need to have a closer look at the local stakeholder engagement activities of corporations in your community. Take the time to look through corporate websites of businesses in your community and identify the kind of engagement you find you can agree with. Successful stakeholder engagement is not meant to be a big splash with millions spent on it. Successful stakeholder engagement is meant to be resonating with you the individual stakeholder in your own context. I am sure you will find some great examples of stakeholder engagement resonating 100% with you and your community.
Stakeholder engagement best practice has two sides to it these days . 1) Global and 2) local stakeholder engagement. Unilever has shown us how to conduct useful global stakeholder engagement this week but let us not forget about the local community stakeholder engagement. For me local community stakeholder engagement is the true engagement and it always will.
I usually use the weekend to brush up on the other interesting CSR / Sustainability news from the week. Today I wanted to bring your attention to the winners of the Social Innovation Awards 2012. I believe it is worth a look checking out the winners of 2012.
These are the CSR / Sustainability winners from 2012:
Every now and then will I present my favourite new Sustainability-related videos on the various videos sites across the net. Here are two new videos uploaded to YouTube on the topic of Sustainability this week.
H&M and their Sustainable Efforts for Earth Day
Andy Sharpless, CEO Oceana, on how desperate our oceans need our help – now