First, we have the Circular Economy. Then we have the Sharing Economy and, upon my return from my last business trip to Antwerp (For #BLUG) and London (For the Melcrum Digital Summit), here we have got what I call a pretty cool, inspiring, thought-provoking, mind-blogging new initiative that takes the whole concept of sustainability and growth in a responsible manner into a new level. One where it’s proved that it can be done, where it needs to be done, if we would want to survive accordingly in the next few years, as a species. Welcome to The Co-Operative Ethical Plan 2012 – 2014 (and beyond)!
It was a couple of years back, perhaps even longer than that, when I first read from my dear good friend Rob Paterson about that noble, innovative movement of localising global businesses, essentially, referring to that perspective of how, more and more, we are going to experience how everything is going to be run locally, business wise, except perhaps for a handful of rather large corporations that seem to be well established in the global markets, and we are entering that phase where local businesses would strive not only for good, healthy growth, but also a sustainable one; one where they would live to support the growth of their local communities, which in return, would help local businesses become more profitable, in a much more open, transparent, collaborative and community-driven manner. And that can only be a good thing, seeing where the other way has taken us so far.
Well, I come back from those recent business trips, which I will be talking about shortly as well, not to worry, and lo and behold, I bumped into this absolutely delightful YouTube video clip, of just under three minutes, which describes what I would think Rob had in mind for that kind of localised sustainable and profitable business. The Co-Operative.
Checking out their web site’s Join the Revolution entry could not have had a better mantra to live by: “we launched our groundbreaking Ethical Plan with one clear goal: to be the most socially responsible business in the UK” [Emphasis mine] and it looks like they are aiming big because they are also planning on inspiring other people from all over the world. And I suspect they would succeed doing so, because while watching through the YouTube video it sounds like they are already well under way to make it happen. And I thought that, instead of me telling you all how they plan to make it work and provide us with a better, more sustainable, and socially responsible business world, I will leave it down to them to convince you of the rest, like they did with me, when I watched that clip. If not, judge for yourselves:
Truly inspiring, don’t you think? A couple of weeks back I put together one rather thought provoking blog entry under the controversial heading of “Why Social Business Keeps Failing to Deliver” and I guess, after having watched that video clip and the amazingly good commentary that sparked the post, that, to me, Social Business has now got a new mission. And a much more important one. Like I mentioned elsewhere, very soon I will be moving on away from the term Social Business (Leaving it for what it was meant to be all along in the first place!) and instead I will be using another concept I have grown to be very fond of to try to reflect what I mean with all of this social networking for business. But, for now, if open, trustworthy, public, transparent, agile, democratic, engaged, adaptive, empowered, interconnected, socially sustainable, etc. are what social businesses are all about, I guess The Co-Operative has just shown us all how it can be done. Successfully. And still while aiming for driving profit and growth. For everyone.
Yes, I guess you can call me a utopian, a true Hippie 2.0 of sorts, but can you imagine the corporate world behaving in the very same way? Can you imagine what social business would be like eventually? Let’s not imagine it then. Let’s make it happen! Let’s show and demonstrate what true, real, successful social businesses are all about. We have got nothing to lose, but a lot to gain… Our very own survival as a species… Welcome to Humanity 4.0!