About Shared Purpose
Shared Purpose is a forum to think about, discuss, and predict what’s next for business and society.
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ContributorsLeela StakeLeela is a director who helps businesses innovate, collaborate and communicate to be more successful. She’s based in San Francisco, has worked in six Asian countries and is interested in the relationship between long-term business success and community prosperity.Laura PalantoneLaura is a member of our corporate communications team and is based in New York.James RobinsonJames is a director who brings ten years of experience working on CR strategy and communications in New York, Beijing, and Jakarta. He looks at how CR is employed as part of broader business strategy and has a particular interest in the evolving role of technology and innovation in managing social and environmental issues.Julie JackA director in APCO's New York office, Julie works on corporate responsibility with a focus on business strategy and emerging issues and trends. Her currents interests and work focus on sustainable agriculture and supply chain management, the integration of CR and financial communications, and CR in the consumer goods space.Ellen MignoniEllen is a senior director and helped build APCO’s global corporate responsibility practice. She works primarily with APCO’s corporate clients on business alignment and corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement and partnership development, and communication and outreach.
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History & CategoriesClick to unfold.
- What’s behind the gender wage gap in Seattle?
- iCrisis, version 2.0
- Takeaways From New Renewable Energy Proposals in Washington State
- The Red Equal Signs: Top Takeaways for Cause-Conscious Companies
- Women Helping Women
- Meet the Aspirationals: Three Findings from Regeneration Roadmap
- As Same-Sex Marriage Reaches the Supreme Court, So Does Support from Corporate America
- Shareholders of the World, Unite!? (Part II)
- Mandatorily Philanthropic?
- The Word from Seattle: U.S. Needs Sustained Clean Tech Movement
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Athletic conference realignments altering cherished rivalries within college sports. Alleged acts of pedophilia by coaching staff against children in their care. Compliance violations and a range of sometimes controversial penalties assessed against member schools. This is the context for which the NCAA and several of its marquee institutions enter into the previously hallowed football bowl season. Lack of preparation and poor decision-making have resulted in several senior administrators becoming a part of the anticipated December unemployment statistics instead of leading their schools or departments. This will indeed be a winter of unprecedented criminal investigations, litigation and adverse media coverage. As daily stories regarding the aspects of these events have unfolded on our TV screens and social media, several friends and journalists have called to ask how or if any of this could have been possibly prevented. Of course, no one can fully prevent horrendous judgment committed by individuals within an institution if a person is intent on engaging in morally reprehensible or criminal acts. However, more than ever before, boards of directors of corporations and university trustees are asking their senior executives to ensure that their institutions have a fresh crisis plan and that all the requisite stakeholders in the enterprise are equipped to operationalize it when the inevitable mayhem visits their doorstep.
Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 By Tara Greco
In my previous posts, I made the case that corporate branding is out of step with the reality of the market. Why, when given the ability of companies to adapt quickly to technological change, would corporate brands be out of step? To some degree, I think companies have been forced to adapt their operations and product marketing to technology because it has hit them over the head like a sledgehammer. The market quickly makes winners and losers, but the corporate brand doesn't cry out in the same way. It is harder to diagnose the harm a brand suffers from being left behind, making it less likely to get attention. There is, however, very tangible science available that documents the value of the corporate brand and its ability to predict things like sales, customer and employee loyalty, and even market capitalization.
Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 By SharedPurpose
Corporate brands need to step up. Now is the time to rethink your corporate brand in light of the new expectations and interactions it faces. Once upon a time, we could categorize stakeholders by their occupations. Today, stakeholders can create themselves by their level of advocacy, and the tools to create that advocacy have become much more democratized and scalable. Individuals can become influencers quickly and with global reach. Their advocacy may be aimed at a particular product, but as often as not, they pierce the corporate veil and go straight to the corporate brand. Why do this? Because people are smart. They understand that products don't make decisions, companies do; products don't run afoul of labor standards, companies do; and products don't have environmental problems, companies do.
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 By SharedPurpose
Let's talk about brands for a minute. I think this may be an area where semantics have overtaken common sense. I've read heated online exchanges about the difference between brand and reputation, but the difference when discussing corporate brands seems only one of perspective. The brand is the promise, the reputation is the success in delivering on that promise. When we talk about corporate brands, what are we really talking about? It is the promise those brands are making to a range of potential stakeholders about what they can expect from the company. With that in mind, I am always stunned when a company gives short shrift to its corporate brand under the delusion that “no one is buying the corporate brand – they're buying the products.”
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 By SharedPurpose
Today marks another World AIDS Day. APCO’s Linda Distlerath has been working in this field for decades and shares her thoughts on how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Having worked in the HIV/AIDS field for more than 20 years, I find myself each December 1 – World AIDS Day – reflecting on how far we have come in tackling the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and contemplating what the future will bring. This past year marked the 30th anniversary of the first reports from U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of unusual cases of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia in gay men, both later recognized as opportunistic infections associated with HIV infection and diagnostic of full-blown AIDS. Hence, 1981 is seen as the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in terms of public attention to a frightening and previously unknown infectious threat. Over the next 15 years, much effort was focused on the scientific, clinical and epidemiological aspects of HIV infection and AIDS with significant investment by the U.S. government through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC among other government agencies, along with the research-based pharmaceutical industry. But 1996, the 15-year mark of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, was a watershed year for science, the industry and people living with HIV/AIDS, at least in the United States, Europe and other health resource-rich regions. In that year, the notion of the “triple-combination cocktail” of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infection – taking viral load to undetectable levels for prolonged periods – came to life, and indeed brought life back to those ravaged by AIDS.
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 By Tara Greco