May 05, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

CSR: powerful marketing tool or unshakeable corporate values?

Once walking along the shelves with variety of products, I eventually recognized symbol of "red heart" on Procter&Gamble’s (P&G) product. Advertisement where P&G products labeled with "red heart" told that some part of money received from “red heart” labeled products would go directly as donations for children with heart diseases. My hand turned toward the product with “red heart” label …

This is not only one story where one tend to buy products that advertised with relation to donation activities. Before tackling mini-project about CSR, I had thought that companies just “pretend” to spend part of money from such products. I had thought that they just encourage customers make “indirect donations”. Even I suspected them in being unfair toward their willingness to donate. However, I think that customers unconsciously buy such products believing that they are contributing “indirectly”. I’ve thought those kind of advertisements are marketing tools to gain customers attention and psychologically influence their buying behaviors. After mini-project completion, I was glad to know that I was wrong.

Natural Resources Canada presents about 10 case studies of companies that established themselves as the best Canadian Corporate Citizens. Particularly, Husky Injection Moldings company (2nd in top 25 Corporate Citizens, May, 2002) are known as company that views sustainable development as the mix of three: economical, environmental, and social. Company’s main goal is to lead in all these three aspects of sustainable development. Husky incorporated it Purposes and Values into company strategy and “live out” these purposes and values in business. Most interesting thing for me was that Husky company in financial difficult time, where figures indicated obvious decline in profits and need for strong generation of cash in order to survive, CEO of company, R. Schad did not cut off any activities related to SCR. I found this fact as the evidence of unshakable values incorporated by company. The values that reflect them as corporate citizen, who reflects its intention to improve state of the world by actions.

Haizhen argued during mini-project discussion that in order manage essential CSR activities, any company should have strong financial position. I totally agree with her. Again making link to leadership, it seems for me that leader as individual who should be “rich enough” to help group members or followers to cope with challenges. “Rich enough” in my interpretation incorporates the best personal characteristics as well as intelligence and knowledge. And again, as in case with Husky company, real leader will unshakable to his values and purposes and try to help others even in difficult time for him.


April 30, 2009

Reply for Sue's Comments

Reply for Sue's Comments on previous entry: Actions not Words!

Hello Sue,

Sue, you make me laugh with your comment number 1. Very skilful point against my thoughts! Thank you. But, what do I mean is that from my personal experience, some people talks a lot, even can draw draft of beautiful and reassuring picture of future actions. But when time to realize that actions comes, you understand that it was only messy draft with beautiful words, and any attempts to convert this draft into feasible picture not taken.

When people around you, the life of who are important for you, understand logic of your actions and understand that your actions reflect their vision and their values, then they become with you. They start listening you. I do not argue that individual should not speak out; I believe that actions should outweigh words (concerning comment 1).

Yes, you are right Sue, (concerning comment 2), it is very useful to explore yourself from different sides and see what kind of person you are. Significant person in Kazakh literature, writer and great thinker, Abai Kunanbayev, told “every night before going to sleep you should analyze and report yourself what did you do today”. May be I cannot interpret his message in right way, but it means for me, that individual should analyze his action and be strict with himself in order to improve and be better than today. Day ends and you should learn from each day, you should explore yourself as individual. Every day gives you an enormous chance and possibility; you should be just open and ready to accept them. What is the link between these consideration and leadership? I believe that life is learning, and successful leader has to improve himself everyday. There is no limit for perfection. The best way to improve as individual is to assess yourself and critically examine you behavior and actions at the end of the day. Again, coming back to previous comment (number 1), I want to reflect again: words not actions. I may naturally resist to share my own “report” with world, because it is very personal and I may be want to reflect improvements as individual nor verbally, not by writing, but by my actions.

Develop yourself

Sue, unfortunately, I can not access your blog to explore your thoughts about life and experiences (concerning your comment 3).

Finally, (concerning comment 4) I think “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” justifies itself in hockey world. Bit in world, can individual afford himself mistakes that are too costly? Of course, at least you will have experience and gain some lessons and may be perform better in next time. But what if the cost for that mistake is very high? What if the cost counts with invaluable unit as human live? Can we afford such actions? Maybe answer is yes, when you know what you are doing and believe that the possible results worse to do it. Live is action and it is worthwhile to act and try. Try with High intelligence, Hot heart, and Brave heart.


April 29, 2009

Actions not words!

action.jpg

I have now  realized that leader is the person who REFLECT VISIION OF SOCIETY DREAMS AND VALUES OF SOCIETY. We have had tendency to interpret leader from prospect of leader in group. If we go broader and diminish borders of group we will find the life with real people, with real life situations, where you will not be given "notes". Here we play in "safe environment". What is the recipe for successful leadership in real life? I was thinking about this during seminars and after. I remembered history. I remembered significant figures of past. I found that nowadays people remember them and respect them because that persons were leaders. They were leaders with hot heart and high intelligence. They Challenged environment and rules and intended to create new vision and environment which were dreamed by society. "Real leader"  does not want to seek for praise and status, Leader seeks for creating "the best" environment for people. Only highly intelligent person with "alive heart" can lead society towards to possibilities of life. I belive that this kind of leaders works hard and continously improve themselves and find the ways for people hearts through their actions not words. Word has power when they come from individual who justified his credibililty by "real" actions. Things will not be done with words, they will be done by actions.


Promotions and firing policy

Hello everyone,

I hve attached presenation of "Promotions and firing policy" (group 2). We have not time to present it properly, please, have a look.

Thanks, Peripresentation.ppt


April 28, 2009

Thoughts after seminars

"What if............? But what if..............? And if............?"

These kind of questions were running simultaneously in my head, while seminars were in progress. Different aspects of leadership were discussed during seminars.It seem for  me that there is endless questions linked with each question of seminar. For example, gender issues in leadership: Does gender effect the leadership? And again flow of information, flow of viewpoints. More we delve into clarifying this question, more questions arised in my head. It seems to me endless flow of discussion. I agreed on point with Paul that we can not generalize each topic disccused in seminar: we can not theoretically cover all aspects and situations linked to any question. We can not present "framework" that says this WRONG this is RIGHT in leadership style. I belive that real experiences matter. Of course you should be aware of theories and possible solutions for different situation. But can we act according our "knowledge of situation" in similar situations? the best way to experience it and analyse each experience afterwards. Analyse and gain "wisdom" from just "knowledge".


April 23, 2009

Definition of leadership

Writing about web page leadership

What is the leadership?

sunset.jpg

During our first mini project "Definition of leadership" I came up with my own definition as:

Leadership is art of individual to mobilize the activities or thoughts of group to achieve goal above compliance.

Firstly, why is the art? Art is the superior skill of human being. Art is the skill that you can learn by study and practice (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn). There is various styles of leadership, as the skills of leading is different. Individual with superior skills of leading can mobilize and influence activities or thoughts of group to achieve goals. Successful leadership style can be determined when followers strive to achieve shared goals "above compliance".


April 22, 2009

Three days left

Writing about web page leader team building

Hello,

I have never had my own blog. This is opportunity to share my ideas and the way I perceive the world. Exciting experiment!

Three days left since the beginning of module "Leadership and Excellence". Three days left since I created but have not typed some ideas in my blog. Ok, let me have a chance to do it!

Monday "Am I building the team?"

I really enjoyed the team building exercises, especially with making giraffe from newspapers. The purpose of team building, from my point of view, is to help members to get to know each other better. In friendly and funny atmosphere, I believe, it is easier to establish sense of group belonging. Also it is valuable experience as you can see your peer as not just “serious” student, but from funny, lively and interesting individual.

However, it does not happen always as it sounds. Although there was not appointed leader for these exercises, ideas how to tackle problems were generated randomly. I have noted that some members of our group were more initiative, whereas others were not. Those individuals, who were initiative, seem to have experiences and intentions to lead and direct group toward goals. I wonder how any conflicts were not happening, as more than one potential leader exists in one group. Possible answers are:

1. Although there was more that one potential leader for team building exercise, they have common goals and shared ways how to tackle the problem. Thus helped to work in synergy.

2. Maybe time constraints and “artificial” environment (not real world) make each of them to relax and support each other without demonstrating any conflicts in decisions.

I believe that in real life situation there are often more than one potential leader. There can not be more than one leader in a group. For example, in wild world, lions have only one leader who lead his tribe, it has to fight in order to take such responsibility: the strongest lion is a leader.

Lets come back to human world. I believe that in case of several potential leaders emerging in one group (society, country, etc.) leaders may confront to each others view and hence split the entire group. In case of common vision and shared goals of individuals, only one leader can emerge, the leader who are trusted and believed to lead in most efficient way. I believe that the last case is possible when personal characteristics of individuals and interests go far from own self-interest, when individuals acknowledge that it does not matter who lead provided that the end goal and shared vision will be achieved.


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