Creativity Is Turning Cost into Benefit

Creativity Is Turning Cost into Benefit

The idea of this buzz emerged while preparing a lecture on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The pyramid of responsibility below shows that making profits is the basic one. Legal responsibility is an enforced one by law comes next. Ethical responsibility follows with philanthropic responsibility topping the pyramid.

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One main objection of CSR is that corporate need to make profits and that social and environmental responsibilities not only fall beyond their domain, but also adds to the corporate' costs. I feel this thinking is short-sighted and is the major hidden cost for corporate who think this way. First, corporate can't be responsible selectively. To make profit with disregard to the environment by polluting it, to give one example, is a lopsided thinking. It is a win-lose scenario and is an egoist one.

Creative thinking is the thinking that turns costs into profits. Creative thinking is also the thinking that which turns a win-lose case into a win-win case.
Ali Anani, PhD

Great corporations see embedded opportunities in CSR that only creative minds shall dig out. Corporations with this mindset are qualified to "see" this opportunity. They enjoy positive thinking. To explain by example, Hewlett-Packard Germany has come up with a great idea of Optical Wires to transmit electricity with 20 times more efficiency than electrical wires made of copper. These efforts shall make the company more profitable and the consumers and the environment shall also be profitable. CSR is not a cost for the creative minds; more it is an opportunity for creative innovations.

Another notable example is Warby Parker: This eye glass company has launched a โ€œBuy a Pair, Give a Pairโ€ program where for each purchase made, glasses are given to someone in need. Warby Parker has already made a difference by donating over 150,000 pairs by working with nonprofit partners. No wonder this company has a huge Reputation Capital that brings profit for the company.

Responsibility doesn't have two faces: one positive and one negative. It is only positive.

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This positivity brings along with it positive mindsets, positive thinking and then positive actions that lead to profitable products for the corporate, the consumer, the society and the environment. Unfortunately, the reverse is true. Who would then deal with companies who have the wrong responsibility?


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Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#73
Thank you Silvia G\u00f3mez and I am glad we are connected now

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#71
There is one more scam- playing with words to cheat. This is a buzz on its own

๐Ÿ Fatima G. Williams

#70
Yeah the expiry dates on food is another trick to keep us buying and keep the business running. Another money making scam

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Dear - you remind me of junk food that people consume in huge amounts. This could result from variety of factors such as cheapness, lack of time, campaigns or eating-habits. Now you bring a new issue- plastic food. If we fail to take care of our health then what could we take care of? How about people who sell expired food and the consumers failing to pay attention to the expiry dates? We have so much to work on.

๐Ÿ Fatima G. Williams

A valuable nail hitting buzz Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I love Harvey's comment ""Humanity is the consumer, not necessarily by choice but by design" This is true. Today we consumers have the costly choice to eat, drink and buy the products we want. We are forced to buy products that are not environmental friendly labeled on sale nor are they healthy. There's a new section in supermarkets branded Organic. I remember it started off as two shelves now they have a whole section. Those items cost a fortune! I don't understand the logic. So if people who have money can buy organic what about people who are earning just enough to run their day. Are they not entitled to healthy food? Who has given these companies permission to manufacture low quality/high quality food? What is happening in this world? I recently watched some videos on fake egg, rice, cauliflower, shrimps extra manufactured with plastic. example for shrimps - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CShBYdUtSqI) Who decides the cost of humanity? Why is there a price on it? As you say the main objection of CSRs is that corporates need to make profits, social and environmental responsibilities fall beyond their domain ! :(

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #52

#67
When I was young !

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#66
Use high heels my friend

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #50

#65
Thank you Ali. I like it but it's also an amusing metaphor for me as I am 5' or 152.4cm tall !

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I wish to express my gratitude for Louise Smith for his "brave" engagement in these discussions. The success of beBee is partly linked with the degree of engagement we have on this platform. Certainly, Louise stands very high in this area and as high as an oak tree.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #48

#63
Good ok I will !

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#57
I am relieved, but then be on the watch for my joke soon.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#60
This is quite interesting that the young generation is more aware of their societal and environmental responsibilities than big corporations. A nice topic to consider further.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#59
and you too ุชุตุจุญ ุนู„ู‰ ุฎูŠุฑ

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #44

#53
You can tell this is a topic close to my heart. I haven't read all the comments but have to get some shuteye now. ุชุตุจุญ ุนู„ู‰ ุฎูŠุฑ I will read the rest another time. Thank you for your inspiring posts. I wade through many inane pieces of writing every day (not on beBee) and it's like drinking from a clear fresh running creek/stream to read your posts. Refreshing ! ุชุตุจุญ ุนู„ู‰ ุฎูŠุฑ

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#56
That is a valid point, Louise. I think you should consider writing a buzz on this quote from your comment "it takes time and that is what we don't have". You remind me of a quote that I read years ago "People need as much time as you give them". People need to sense the urgency of a problem to ct together.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #42

#53
I know that - of course Deb did not ! She's an Aussie too ! We are used to colourful language ! I was trying to have a joke with you. It's hard to do humour in text. It's your turn next to try a joke with me ! In your own time not necessarily now !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #41

#50
I AGREE like ants and BEES we need to work together. But when we face weak Governments who are only interested in the short term with being re-elected and profit making plus rich corporations with megabucks, it takes time and that is what we don't have !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #40

#45
Thank you Ali there is more to intelligence than meets the eye ! You're absolutely RIGHT it is foolish to reap " immediate benefits and overlook the costly future."

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #39

#28
That's what advertising is for ! When I was a teenager, I didn't wear Brand Name clothes. I didn't really know they existed. There were not many that were available and they were incredibly expensive. I never experienced or saw any bullying due to this. How about today's teenagers? A friend nick named his "Want Want". For obvious reasons. I know a 10 yo who has not 1 but 3 DS game console's each worth at least AUD $200. I didn't own anything worth $200 until I bought my first car in my 20's for $2000 ! How times have changed ! But why is it so? - Professor Julius Sumner Miller Classic children's show on Australian TV from 1963 to 1986 featuring American physicist, Professor Julius Sumner Miller. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIfxV7uNZXQ

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#51
Thanks Louise, but I meant it differently as a way of expressing my appreciation. I didn't in any way mean otherwise. I hope I didn't say something out of the context because simply I am not this type of man. I hope that Deb\ud83d\udc1d Lange, Brand Ambassador @beBee read my intentions the way I meant them.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #37

#26
Very Clever !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #36

#21
Warning : Strong Language

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#48
this is the challenge embedded in your comment Louise Smith. You wrote "But we have no influence". Again, you remind me of ants in turbulent waters. Each ant alone will sink. However; by hooking to each other and forming a raft they float. WEakness is in working alone. I think small may generate a butterfly effect that will disrupt the climate of current businesses if they hook together.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #34

#16
This has happened recently in Adelaide South Australia ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-08/sa-heatwave-forces-rolling-blackouts-angering-government/8252512 ) and was partly blamed on the lack of power generated by renewables at that time. But where are the renewable power battery storage systems ? Where is the advance planning to cope with this situation which often occurs in Australian Summer? In fact, it was the market operator, who runs the national electricity market, who didn't foresee the problem and generate enough power or turn on extra generators to cope with it in advance. Also the LNP in government used this to score political points by incorrectly stating that renewable energy is not sufficient. Again where are the renewable power battery storage systems ? Where is the advance planning? Whose responsibility is it ? Clearly the power companies do not care about the ordinary people and their businesses suffering as a result. I am trying hard not to believe that I live in a 3rd world country !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #33

#15
Yes look at coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef which I started seeing when scuba diving 20 years ago. So it was known about then and nothing much has changed despite ongoing confirming research. It's unconscionable. I think most ordinary not extremely wealthy Australian's think this way as we love our Great Outdoors. But we have no influence. I agree the laws can and have to be changed to reflect the people affected and the continuing degradation of the environment. I am acutely embarrassed and in disbelief that the Australian Liberal National Party currently in government under Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister do not fully believe in and can not come to any agreement on Climate Change. You may know Australia is the biggest producer of Natural Gas in the world. And guess what ordinary people pay more for gas than for exported gas. Gas companies have stated that it will run out, there will shortages, outages and not be enough for the Australia population! How ludicrous ! But can you guess why? I am sure you can. No one, government included, has monitored the amount and price of gas exported. In reality there is enough gas but large corporations want to export it for more money rather than supply the Australia population! Why do we pay politicians with our hard earned tax dollars?

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #32

#13
As you would know, these days some companies run philanthropic programs and sponsor community projects and events. Especially sporting ones. But the company also benefits greatly from advertising seen around the world and probably tax deductions. This seems a bit misleading but I am glad for the people and organisations who benefit.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #31

#1
Up until a few weeks ago, a close friend of mine with a PhD in CSR ( a rare qualification) was a lecturer and researcher at one of the Big Four Australian Universities. My friend gave up trying to get a course on CSR up and running. There was no interest. A number of other friends studied Environmental Studies when it was first introduced into another university. Most of them became High School Teachers. Others worked in completely different fields like computing. Out of six only one got a job in a semi related organisation - CSIRO. (I think he did research into pig farming not really the main focus of his Environmental Studies degree.) They had to eat ! At the same time, I got to read some Environmental Impact Statements written before corporations can begin large projects that will negatively effect the environment.They were extremely wishy-washy and often in favour of the negative project. My friend's had real ethical concerns about being expected to write this kind of report. Makes sense when most of them became High School Teachers who Australian's believe are one of the most honest of all professions ! It's impossible to fight big corporations with accommodating government bodies legally when PROFIT and TAX REVENUE are at stake !

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#44
The picture and I- you must be very sharp Louise Smith to associate me with my selection of images. You raise a hugely important issue. Yes, those people who make regulations do so sometimes without fully understanding what they regulate.Being in this weak position they yield to the power of big corporations. It is a sad situation when we consider immediate benefits and overlook the costly future.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #29

Hi Ali, I just saw the picture and knew this post was written by you ! CSR is a big issue in Australia with regards to the impact of mining and the costs to the environment, often negative. Farmers are worried that their land will be permanently destroyed which in some cases has happened. Another complication is that farmers do not have funds to challenge this legally. It seems to me that the Government regulations regarding this issue are grossly inadequate and tend to favour big corporation's profit and tax revenue rather than protecting Australia's capacity to feed itself. I actually think that the law regarding prospecting and mining on land owned by someone else should be reviewed. Farmers have enough to worry about without this ! Louise

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#42
What a synchronicity Simone Luise Hardt as I have just finished sharing and commenting on your buzz about your "living and dynamic CV". I enjoyed the flow with which you write. I am here are beBee since February 26, 1916. SInce then I have contributed 224 buzzes. I hope I started with the first step! Yes, but what comes next is equally important. The fact that your name highlighted in my comment means also that we are connected.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#38
This is exactly what I tried to communicate "Humans sharpen humans. Regulations create conformity not the creativity that man is capable". Thank you Harvey Lloyd for this great quote.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#37
I gave a lecture a year ago on creative banks and why finacial institutes and accounting office need to be creative. That was one of my most engaging lectures dear . The contract prevents me from distributing or publishing the lecture. However; creativity is open for all.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #25

#32
From an accounting perspective i would agree. But i am really referring to the aspect that CEO's should look at the balance sheet and know they are investing in humanity. Oh, regulation can certainly add to this effort but usually also comes with agendas. These agendas have lead to the mess we are find ourselves. Humans sharpen humans. Regulations create conformity not the creativity that man is capable.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
Great - I dwell on your creative mind to come up with a better approach. I read once that accountants aren't into creativity as they work within standards and have to follow accounting rules. But isn't creativity in a way to find a way out and reverse this thinking? I know this is a sideline issue, but we suffer a lot from following established accounting rules. May be I am wrong, but the issue is hugely important. May be you would discuss it is a dedicated buzz.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#33
No worry as it is easy to spot the typos dear . I make plenty of typos as well

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
This is why I tagged you o this presentation . I mentioned in my reply to a previous comment that I tried to find a way on how to add intangible assets to the balance sheet. https://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/employee-bankruptcy-ratio I wonder if this approach would make any sense to you.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#26
"Humanity is the consumer, not necessarily by choice but by design". This is sheer brilliance Harvey Lloyd. Few words that are quite telling.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #20

#15
#13 #14 Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich humanity has always been an assumption. This assumption always worked up to the 60's and i sense it started mindfully before the break out of sticking it to the man. "The bottom line", profits, are an enigma. Humanity is the consumer, not necessarily by choice but by design. So when we sacrifice employee, stakeholders consumers and all that are involved in the profit cycle, we choke the "Golden Goose". This is brought on by the annual budget process. We think in quarters and 1 year cycles. Who is my consumer in 10 years? How does shaving some profit today build me a more robust customer along the way? Wal-Mart employees purchase housing, electricity and fuels while the electric company employees purchase at Wal-Mart. This symbiotic relationship we share, time for money, is the Golden Goose. We can squeeze but so much from the relationship in the name of profits before we hit the tipping point. The irony for me is that we replace humanity with technology like we will save money and add to the bottom line. Unfortunately we are laying off our customers.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#23
I am a strong believer of going in small steps and therefore welcome your valuable suggestion of "In a way, we would need to start with the smallest group, the family, and support ethics influencing decision making as the children grow up to be business executives, teachers, doctors, parents and community members". Equally ais that your proposal is economically-viable. Your comment resonates so well with that of Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich. I am glad you highlighted the creative examples of applying CSR as people view it as a cost when in reality it could be a great source for great new ideas and innovations. I greatly appreciate your supportive comment.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Vert true Ian Weinbergand we need to build a critical mass. Your suggestion "to start with a directory of CSR compatible companies" is sound and practical. One caution though that the directory shouldn't include companies that hide evil intentions behind their "cosmetic adherence" to CSR.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #17

A tremendously valuable buzz Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, well written! You have also sparked an important discussion. We are still struggling with ethics because corporations are no different than any other community. Governments, organizations, health/education, any group of policy makers, need to adhere to an ethical foundation and framework. Today's news about a Ford recall reminds me of the scandal they went through in the 1970's for not recalling cars which were catching on fire. It was discovered during an investigation that a report was written and submitted outlining that the costs of the recall would cost them more than paying off the claimants. Of course I support your lobbying for creative thinking to make a difference in CSR. Your examples are right on. In a way, we would need to start with the smallest group, the family, and support ethics influencing decision making as the children grow up to be business executives, teachers, doctors, parents and community members. Articles like yours make a difference Dr. Ali. Thank you.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #16

Thanks for highlighting this vital issue Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee As a consequence I would personally elect to give my business to those companies subscribing to your proposed CSR business practice and would encourage others to do likewise. Practically, the process would need to start with a directory of CSR compatible companies and a SM awareness notification. Thereafter I believe the process will evolve organically. Thanks again for inspiring.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
You are damn right with what you suggest Deb\ud83d\udc1d Lange, Brand Ambassador @beBee. We need to divert money to save our environment and including work environment. We need minds with clean thinking to achieve our goals.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
Thank you for your sweet comment Miguel \ud83d\udc1d L\u00f3pez Oliva and I salute your continued effort o work with healthy CSR programs.

Miguel ๐Ÿ Lรณpez Oliva

Sweet post Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. CSR is not just a compromise, what is more, is also a way to differenciate your company than your competitors. I had the chance to participate in some CSR plans and I would like to continue doing it.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
Brilliant comment Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich and is truly a standing out one. You bring a hugely important point by asking "Have we hit this stage of poisoning our world and rampant human suffering & disease precisely because Ethical responsibility comes after financial and legal concerns in corporations"? The creative thinker will just reverse this order to be able to generate creative, friendly, green and still profitable solutions. I tried my best to highlight this point in the buzz by the two creative examples that I selected carefully. Deep analysis will show that companies with ethics managed to turn social responsibility into profitable business. They started from the top of the pyramid. Short-sightedness and first-cost minded organization shall not be able to do this. Yes, we created a pyramid of immiscible layers and those who can make them miscible shall be the profitables ones in the future. Look at the struggle between conventional energy and renewable energy. Instead of joining horsed to develop cost-effective generation of energy by using green resources the conventional companies mocked renewables as being non-reliable. Yes, ethics and concern for people and the society are lacking.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
This is a key point Jerry Fletcher. Most studies show that companies with trusted CSR do make a difference and achieve greater profits. However; there is also the consumer paradox. SOme customers say they will not deal with companies that have poor CSR, but in reality they buy from them. Credibility and reliability aren't aligned. Your point is valid and merits a study on its own.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #10

Ali, Fascinating. I'm reminded of a discussion where the marketing director of (at that time) one of the largest retail businesses in the world when the subject came up asked the question of the group, "Am I (the company) my brothers keeper? That caused a spirited back an forth that finally came down to, "If you can prove giving adds to the bottom line..." Perhaps in today's incredible analytic developments the proof can be made available.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I know that my "mind partner" Harvey Lloyd is deeply busy, but eventually hope to read his critical comment.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
Thank you Chris and I am sure the little waiting time shall be immensely rewarding.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
I am very glad to know that your business is thriving on to GIVE. Your business must be successful then Chuck Bartok. I like very much the idea of the efficiency in distribution of money. Wise businesses do this.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
Thank you for your kind words and sharing dear debasish majumder

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I invite Harvey Lloyd because of his expertise in this field.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Very true what you say "we can only serve one master at a time". I accept that you are my master this time and I shall include your valuable comment in my forthcoming buzz.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #3

#2
Your slide share was excellent, a little above my head in how human transfers to a spreadsheets, but informative. I would say that broadening the scope of this post would include an insight to why the balance sheet has been defined by government while the P&L is for the C-Suite and shareholders is in order. We can only serve one master at a time. When we introduce more than one master is when complexity in translating competing goals begins.

Ali ๐Ÿ Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
You touch upon a great point here Harvey Lloyd. You are right and we need to have CSR back in the balance sheet. I published a presentation on how to improve balance sheets https://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/employee-bankruptcy-ratio Therefore, your comment resonates very strongly with me. I think your comment is hugely important and a comment response alone isn't enough. Soon, I shall address it in more detail in a buzz.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #1

Great thoughts here as usual Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. I would add that CSR is not reflected within the balance sheet and competition. However it is reflected in the P&L statement of companies. CSR is currently a profit related matter and it serves to broaden the profits through expenses or fold the company up as the balance sheet is destroyed by competition. Like our stakeholders in a company don't show up on the balance sheet, but should, CSR needs to find its way there also. Global competition opened the door for poor CSR. This was an unintended consequence, not a deliberate act. The question is who will blink first? In order to get the cats back in the bag someone, a country or government will have to force CSR back to the balance sheet where it was so many years ago. Many companies that have reached past and extended themselves beyond CSR will be cut off from the lifeline of commerce. Sure a few who are using CSR as a strategy will make good and companies with high margins will also be able to demonstrate CSR from the P&L statement. More dialogue in this area is sorely needed. Although our ecosystem is of great concern, it will fix itself if we don't get CSR back to the balance sheet where it belongs. No humans will be left and the earth will heal itself. There is a sidebar of irony here. Governments across the world are dealing with citizenry that are slowly realizing CSR is important, while their coffers are not filled by CSR but rather competition, profits and taxes. Competing ideals are meeting.

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