Business, For Purpose, Sustainability, The Zone

Missing the point

Someone on LinkedIn posted about “why CEOs’ are still missing the point on social impact” 

My view is that the answer is “how long is a piece of string” There is never one reason and never one solution but I did contribute a couple of views:

In our (NZ) context, SME’s can struggle to see how they can do good without it significantly impacting on their bottom line. A lot of information is floating around on what start-up social enterprises do and also what large corporates are up to – but not so much about the SME (I’m looking to publish some ideas in this space, if only there was 28 hours in each day…).

Another issue I have found, though more in the environmental space than social, is a tendency to preach to business. “You contribute to the problem now go fix it”. We need to get better at working alongside business to work through issues together. If we have the attitude that business activity can support so much positive change and that this is a great thing – maybe more businesses will come a long for the ride. CEO’s and business owners are always under so much pressure, we need to make ‘doing good’ easy for them to do. And it can be very easy.


Business, For Purpose

Do our words actually speak…

A quick thought for a Monday afternoon.

LinkedIn and other forms of social media are places, like so many, where people go out of their way to say the right things. This is especially true now that ‘for purpose’, ‘good cause’ ‘EQ’ and ‘diversity are buzz-words in mainstream use.

We all need to remember though, actions speak louder than words. A single misaligned action can disprove thousands of well-spoken words.

The internet ensures that none of our actions can remain totally hidden from view. If we don’t authentically act out our words, it will be as if we’ve never spoken.






Go forward

I haven’t blogged for a while now as I pour my creative thoughts into my book – “The Zone, where business and purpose collide”

I did however want to share this proverb.  I think it’s so fitting, both for this period in time but also for a sustainable future.

Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata. Haere whakamua.

Care for the land, care for the people. Go forward



Business, For Purpose, Sustainability

Thanks Eco Friend

Being very busy with my full time ‘day job’, I haven’t been out and about in the social enterprise / purposeful business space for a while (apart from with CSC Buying Group of course).  

When you’re head down, it’s easy to forget about the truly awesome stuff happening out there.  This is why it’s vital we have awesome friends and contacts to remind us and to add that spark to our thinking.

 We all get busy leading up to Christmas, it’s almost like we expect the country to shut down for six months so it has to be done now. Then of course we find it doesn’t shut down but we’re back into the daily grind before we know it.

 The festive season is a great time to let thoughts bounce around and I for one am immensely glad for the opportunity to sit down and listen to people who inspire me.



Collaboration is not tech…

Collaboration is a term that is bandied about a lot these days but its meaning has been clouded, quite literally.

A base description of collaboration (thanks to the good folk at Wikipedia) is: Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation.

Hop online and Google collaboration though, and once you get past the definitions, you’ll find a great many links to websites for cloud based software to enable collaboration. It seems that the process has now become a definition of a tool.

Cloud computing certainly allows better integration across sites, organisations and even countries. Here at CSC Buying Group, we are definitely enjoying its many benefits.

Software allowing multiple people to edit a document or comment on a notice board may assist with collaboration but by itself, it doesn’t create and encourage it. An organisation’s culture is what enables true collaboration. Working towards a common goal, trusting your colleagues, transparency by all parties, willingness to engage and supportive leadership will always have far more influence than software ever could.

As a leader you need to ensure that there is a common purpose and an atmosphere of trust within the group. Also provide ongoing, constructive feedback throughout the process and encourage others to do the same. Most importantly, remember to communicate, communicate, communicate.

Collaboration does not rely on software, it relies on people. Whiz-bang computer tools will assist but if you want your team to fully collaborate, it still comes down to you as a leader. Don’t get fooled by the “techies”, collaboration is a human process. It’s up to you to create the environment that will allow it to happen.

team-3373638__340First published in Cambridge Chamber of Commerce News, Summer 2018