Corporate citizenship requires vision and discipline

“There are those who see, those who see when shown, and those who cannot see.”

Leonardo DaVinci

Much like DaVinci, professionals working in corporate citizenship must be able to see well beyond the possibilities in plain sight today. It is that kind of vision that inspired our 2013 International Corporate Citizenship Conference theme of Designing Opportunity. Leading companies today envision how their corporate citizenship efforts could benefit the business and society in exciting new ways just as DaVinci created so many things for a new world.

Vision for what is possible will fuel the continued evolution of corporate citizenship and its further integration in business. Moving corporate citizenship to the core of how business is conducted will allow companies to generate innovations that provide solutions to social problems that align with firm capabilities and values.

To fully leverage these opportunities requires hard work. The work is not only in the design phase, it is in the execution also. Getting those “who need to be shown” on board and compelling those “who cannot see” requires strategy, finesse, optimism, and unflagging persistence – attributes and skills that are reinforced and advanced in our professional community.

The upcoming issue of our magazine, The Corporate Citizen, highlights the companies at our 2013 Conference that shared the many ways they have designed opportunities and turned an idea of what is possible into action. Included among the articles:

  • Travelers explains the ways its culture of collaboration leads to innovations that create opportunities for the business and the community.
  • Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison explains the firm’s goals of nourishing consumers, neighbors, employees, and the planet – objectives that recognize the link between healthy, sustainable communities and healthy, sustainable business.
  • Target shares how its corporate citizenship design has evolved in response to changes in stakeholder expectations and the business environment..

I am so impressed by the creativity, vision, and determination of our member community. The stories shared at the conference, and in our networks each day, inspire me and show it is possible to create opportunities for a better world when the assets of business are applied to solving some of our greatest social and environmental challenges.

This formula for success was not lost on DaVinci the dreamer. He observed: “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”