According to Harvard Business Review’s 2015 No.1 CEO, Lars Rebien Sørensen, “Corporate Social Responsibility is nothing but maximising the value of your company over along period.”
This is a blog about how a company with the goal of social transformation has increased revenue by tenfold in 10 years…how on earth did this happen? You’ll need to read to the end to get the point of this blog. Through great leadership we can achieve the most amazing things…
I recently visited an organisation that is turning raw materials into economic generation machines. The organisation has experienced significant growth over the past ten years, which was when they decentralized and came under the leadership of a visionary and charismatic leader.
The organisation has just celebrated its 40th birthday (19th November 1975) although it was 10 years ago that the accelerated growth began. In 2005 they had 19 staff, revenue of £40k, 39 hubs and 200 units. The units are the economic generator machines that will in turn contribute to fuelling one of the BRIC nations. Over ten years revenue has increased to £400k, staff has increased to 150+ (there are around 50 additional staff who are in essence contractors) and 350 hubs now generate the growth of c.8000 units.
How has this been achieved?
I interviewed the Chairman and CEO of the organisation and asked then the same question. The answer – leadership. The CEO recognised that he needed to empower his team and delegate effectively. As the organisation has grown there was recognition that skilled people were needed to be brilliant in the areas that they were technically competent in…just having a passion for the cause was not enough. The CEO wanted to give his people the freedom to dream.
This success story was not without problems.
As always there are ‘issues’ – these require tough decisions but as the CEO says, this is all part of the journey (language that as a navigator I readily warm to). But with an emphasis on team, working together as a family, minimizing politics through clear communication and principles, recruiting expertise when it is needed and allowing the respective parts to be brilliant they are delivering transformational change to one of the poorest areas on the planet.
So if you’re a leader in a company that’s looking to grow and expand (perhaps in a BRIC nation) then maybe you need to start a journey. If so, who do you need to journey with and importantly do you need a navigator? To learn from this organisation then maybe you would be prepared to undertake an ‘exponential perspective’ programme to truly understand yourself, your values, your potential and your contribution as a leader to the world…because the world needs great leaders.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention. What is the raw material that produces these ‘economic machines’ or units? Children. Orphans, children of sex workers, children themselves sold into the sex industry and children from poor families that exist on less than $1 per day. Through the organisation I visited these children are receiving education, support, healthcare, nutrition, counseling and hope. They will become part of the emerging middle class of their BRIC economy and are keen to make their contribution to the world. Can your business afford to ignore them?
The organisation is JKPS in Kolkata, India www.jkpsindia.org They are still growing.
JKPS is supported by WorldShare www.worldshare.org