In the spirit of full candor I must admit that I have cared more, for longer about football (FB) than my more recent interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR). I also confess that a part of my being exalts in a win, or suffers from that special hell that comes front and center with a loss, after a big game for a favorite team. Regardless of what occurs during the three hours of the game, the bottom line story of the scoreboard renders all else meaningless in comparison.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have enormous appreciation for a one-handed catch at the top of a 40 inch vertical leap, or a diminutive running back that leaves “broken ankles” and shattered egos in his wake, or a kicker that launches a successful field goal from a different zip code, or a 350 pound lineman pirouetting with the grace of Baryshnikov. However, regardless of the shock or awe I may experience by an extraordinary feat it is only how it factors into the score of the game that creates enduring meaning.
I suggest that the same applies for CSR. The problem, of course, is that for those of us with more than a passing interest in both (FB and CSR), we are painfully aware that while the former has clearly understood ways to score and track who is winning, the latter has no agreed upon yardstick. There are many organizations and systems that provide CSR “scores” for virtually any major company. The point is that unlike FB, CSR scores lack a common currency. Different people and organizations look at the various aspects of CSR with diverse perspectives as to what is more or less important. As well they should. For example, if your hot button is safety you would likely be less upset by a substantial mistake by a greeting card company than for a dynamite manufacturer. The beauty of six points for any touchdown doesn’t seem obtainable for CSR measurement.
In spite of the myriad of perspectives, there is however, something that can provide a light at the end of the dark CSR measurement tunnel. CSRHUB allows you to look at companies through adjustable glasses by determining the relative weight of CSR dimensions according to your personal insights and views. Check it out to see how it works (www.csrhub.com).
It has been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. I suggest that the power to measure is the power to improve, or at least to understand and thereby be a catalyst for change. I am convinced that shedding the light of measurement and comparison in the world of CSR is likely the best way to accelerate CSR improvement.
Whether you are pleased or dismayed by the CSR scores you uncover, think the glass is half full. It’s a step in the right direction. If you don’t think so, you could probably also spend three hours watching the big game this weekend without knowing the score. I couldn’t.