MM Memo 01.20.18

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Each week, we compile and summarize the top articles on corporate social impact, impact investing, and conscious capitalism from around the world, and deliver it to your inbox every Saturday morning for you to enjoy and digest.  

Feel free to shoot us an email with any feedback, insight, tips or suggestions. If you like what you are reading, we would love it if you would share it with your friends.


LARRY FINK'S LETTER TO CEOs IS ABOUT MORE THAN "SOCIAL INITIATIVES"

By any measure, Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs this year is a game changer. When the head of BlackRock, the largest investor in the world, says that companies must produce not only profits, but contributions to society, it sends a powerful message. Fink in his letter excels at both clarity and simplicity: “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” he writes in the opening paragraphs. Our advice to CEOs? Read the letter, and then read it again. Fink is not asking companies to engage in more philanthropy. We cannot meet the challenge of today with merely charity or workplace volunteerism. Instead, we require a solid new foundation for business operations and decision rules, and that requires change in both the C-suite and boardrooms. It also means a change in the reward systems and investment decisions of BlackRock and its peers. There is work ahead for all of us.


 
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EMPLOYEES WILL STAY LONGER IF YOU INVOLVE THEM IN SOCIAL CAUSES

Employee turnover is bad for team morale and expensive for businesses, with the cost of losing an employee ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to two times the employee’s annual salary. Rapid job-hopping is most prevalent with millennials, though the pace has picked up with Generation Xers and Boomers as well, particularly in the Silicon Valley, where new research shows the average tenure for employees at ten major technology companies is just one to two years. The good news is that there’s an easy way to hold onto people: get them involved in social causes.


7 WAYS TO TEST WHETHER YOUR COMPANY IS SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Blackrock, which manages a whopping $6.3 trillion, is hiring people to hold publicly-traded companies to a higher standard of corporate social responsibility, according to the New York Times. What is corporate social responsibility? Why does it matter? Isn't it incompatible with boosting shareholder value? And how do you measure it? If Blackrock expects its companies to act in a socially responsible way, it has a big practical problem. How will it communicate what constitutes socially responsible action? How will it measure whether or not companies are getting more or less socially responsible? Click the article below for 7 practical ways to test whether or not your company is socially responsible.


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BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN BUSINESS AND SOCIAL IMPACT.

Do you or your company need help crafting and executing a social impact strategy that is both anchored in business fundamentals and demonstrates a clear return on investment?  

Do you have trouble figuring out ways to optimize social impact and profit?

Do you struggle with clearly communicating your impact to your stakeholders?

We would love to help.


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