Archive for February, 2005

Beyond CSR: BP goes mutual…

Some interesting nuggets starting to emerge from BP recently, crystallising a move away from CSR, and maybe even CR, and...

February 11, 2005

Some interesting nuggets starting to emerge from BP recently, crystallising a move away from CSR, and maybe even CR, and treating responsibility as business as usual.

“We aim to create mutual advantage through ALL our relationships…” say BP.
BP Global/About BP/BP policies

In my book, this is to be appluaded. Maybe this is it. The Zenith. Maybe CSR just grew up.

Sharon Stone bullying business people into donating cash for Mosquito nets; Strange and misguided responses to the Tsunami; The Economist piece proclaiming the power of markets to convey externalities.

Confusion and trivialisation. CSR is out of hand. It may have run its course.

John Brown notably avoided any mention of CSR in his speech this week, but defined long term mutual advantage thus:

“Making sure that advantage is gained by all those who are touched by our activities. By long term, we mean a period of decades. By mutual advantage, we mean an understanding of the underlying needs of all those with whom we work, and using our skills and capabilities to help fulfil those needs”

If CSR wants to survive, it’s time for CSR to work WITH the market. CSR needs to behave responsibly.

If BP genuinely aspires to an environment of ‘mutual trust’, it will need to be not just transparent, but actually ‘honest’ about its behaviours and the trade-offs it undertakes.

These relationships are not just bi-lateral negotiations. They are complex systems. The assumptions within these systems need surfacing. The trust-flow which sustains them is more delicate than many corporations realise…

Mutuality is a great pitch, but living it will be a taxing journey…

Thinking out loud, in conversation with AM.

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The Zone of Potential Amazement

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Mutualism, Buyer Centricity and Co-Creation

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