The chief executives of some of the world’s largest public companies have received a letter from Laurence Fink, chief executive of Black Rock. In this letter, he tells companies that “they need to do more than make profits – they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of Black Rock”. Why does this matter? Black Rock manages more than 6 trillion dollars of investments, making it one of of the largest and most influential investors in the world. The New York Times states this will “cause a firestorm in corner offices of companies everywhere”.
This is just one of the many changes that began as a small trickle and is now becoming a waterfall of change. As the CoachingOurselves director Warren Cohen says: “In the past, the public would recognize and celebrate organizations that made contributions to society. In the very near future, the public will recognize and punish any organization that does not make a contribution to society”. This change is now happening at lightning speed.
Our co-founder Henry Mintzberg, has long been proclaiming this need for change. In his book Rebalancing Society, he writes: “Enough! Enough of the imbalance that is destroying our democracies, our planet, and ourselves. We require a form of radical renewal unprecedented in the human experience.” He traces the tipping point for our current imbalance to 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell, signaling the end of the communist regime in Eastern Europe.
Today’s MBA and EMBA programs have turned a corner and are helping young people learn about morals, ethics, and social responsibility because they realize these themes will form the basis for leadership in the future. Unfortunately, in-house leadership programs in organizations have not caught up and are still focused on innovation, collaboration, and performance. All good, but not sufficient. Letters to CEOs, like the one sent by Black Rock’s Laurence Fink, will mean organizations will be looking for help changing their leaders’ mindsets and the culture of their communities. Leadership development professionals can provide the solution.
What are we doing at CoachingOurselves to contribute to a more sustainable society? We’ve been updating our library with topics to help organizations make positive change and be part of the solution. This includes our new topic categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Higher Purposes, and Wisdom: Beyond Knowledge that offer topics that help develop organizations that are beacons of purpose for employees and society at large.
Similarly, One Planet Business: Sustainable Organizations examines how sustainability can be a driver of innovation and value creation in organizations. CoachingOurselves’ peer learning is based on dialog and collaboration to create more empathetic and connected managers, and can now be delivered around themes and topics that will help organizations contribute to a more prosperous society.
To learn more about how we can help you deliver a leadership program in your organization, contact us at email@example.com