Entrepreneurs: Plan your CSR!

The joy of being an entrepreneur is that you run the show. With that joy comes tremendous responsibility.  Sometimes we are so busy building and running a business that we forget to plan our Corporate Social Responsibility.

Strategic Readiness Funnel

Strategic Readiness Funnel

In my company, we integrate Corporate Social Responsibility into the strategic readiness milestones of each project or product. What is a strategic readiness milestone you ask?

Strategic Readiness can have many names. In product development/innovation firms it can be referred to as Concept Evaluation. In a project organization, it is referred to as Project Charter Approval. Our firm calls it Strategic Readiness. In all three, it is a formal milestone that ensures a product or project has a real market opportunity and fits strategically with the brand and the values of the organization.

Strategic Readiness answers the following questions:

  1. Who is the target customer?
  2. What is the market opportunity?
  3. How does this align with the strategic plan?
  4. How does this align with our commitment to CSR?
  5. Who will develop the business case?

As you can see, we are a long way before we actually assign in depth resources. At this point in the process, we ensure that we have a customer and that we are aligned with the strategic lifeblood of our firm. This is where many entrepreneurs differ from traditional project management. The planning begins with the customer not the stakeholder.

So let’s take a recent Halcyon project and demonstrate how it passed strategic readiness:

It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees:

  1. The target customer is the millennial and their influencers to understand wealth and environmental stewardship.
  2. The ebook and traditional book sales millennial market.
  3. Strategy: To build a company that practices and teaches and applies sustainability for consumers, investors and entrepreneurs.
  4. To give 10% of gross profit to Development and Peace whose mission is to support those hardest hit by Climate Change: The Global South.
  5. The business case is assigned to :

Now we move on to Market Readiness! Yeah We passed!


yours in Corporate Social Responsibility

Cara MacMillan MBA

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