29
Aug

Measuring Impact

Written on August 29, 2008 by Max Oliva in Corporate Responsibility, Development, Environment

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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The WBCSD has developed a new tool in order to assess the social impact of business. Through a stakeholder engagement framework, it follows four steps in order to have both, better relations and make better decisions. These four steps are: Setting boundaries, measuring direct and indirect impacts, assessing contribution to development and prioritizing management response.
It looks very interesting and has both content, contribution from various stakeholders, and practicality, which allows it to be accessed by different companies in order to engage on the conversation.
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The WBCSD measuring impact framework can be used across sectors, by operations in different settings and environments and can be tracked overtime. It offers an analysis on governance & sustainability (including corporate governance and environmental management), assets (infrastructure, products and services), people (jobs, skills and training), and financial flows (procurement and taxes).
It certainly deserves the time to understand the framework, go through the “easy to use guide” and use the excel model, which allows to implement the model according to your company’s specific needs.

28
Aug

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
I have always had a struggle to find a compelling and inclusive way to address ethics, that is until now. Luckily for me, I had the chance to meet Oscar Motomura at the 2008 IC of AIESEC. If we consider ethics to be the choice for the common good, I share with you the “Reflections on ethics and the process of making things happen: effective implementation of solutions for critical sustainability equations.”
If ethics is the choice for the common good (global reach and including all living beings):
1. Deciding to act small because it is more comfortable… is not ethical;
2. Deciding to hold back (your proposals, ideas and actions) because you don’t want to go against “the group” … is not ethical;
3. Deciding to doing the possible instead of trying to make the impossible possible… is not ethical;
4. Deciding to use just a part of your potential (to “save” it for self interest purposes) … is not ethical;
5. Deciding not to act, to stay silent, letting fear stay in the way… is not ethical;
6. Deciding to conform to the “letter of the law” instead of persisting on the path defined by the “spirit of the law” … is not ethical;
7. Deciding not to try because nobody tried it before… is not ethical;
8. Deciding not to pursue the perfection and conform to what seems “negotiable” … is not ethical;
9. Deciding to postpone bold actions again and again “waiting for the right moment” … is not ethical;
10. Deciding to “play the game” and pretend that you are not seeing the manipulations underway… is not ethical;
11. Deciding to live in the realm of ideas, diagnosis and theories instead of taking the risks and going for actions… is not ethical;
12. Deciding to act only when all is scientifically proven, even when the truth is self evident… is not ethical;
13. Deciding to reject all radically creative ideas (yours including) when the “traditional-not-so-radical ideas” have not been working… is not ethical;
14. Deciding to reject every proposal that looks “idealistic” or “utopic” … is not ethical

8
Jul

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Joaquín Garralda, Vice Decano de IE Business School, Director del Centro PwC & IE de Responsabilidad Corporativa
Artículo publlicado en Cinco Días.
Cuando se trata de hacer comparaciones en el tiempo, hay que tener presente la miopía de la memoria que tiende a dar más relevancia a los acontecimientos recientes que a los pasados, y en consecuencia, se tiende a leer el pasado transformándolo a través de las preocupaciones de hoy. Para evitarlo he repasado los títulos de los artículos de hace 30 años de la revista Harvard Business Review (HBR), comparándolos con los de este año.
De este análisis merece la pena destacar varios temas que han evolucionado:
• Se hablaba de Planificación y presupuestos en base cero y algo (poco) de liderazgo; actualmente no se menciona nada relacionado con la planificación y el tema del liderazgo es muy relevante.
• El modelo a seguir era el japonés, las multinacionales se enfrentaban al problema de las estructuras matriciales y en un solo artículo se mencionaba el riesgo de “tener una oficina en Moscú”. Hoy se habla de otros países asiáticos que no son Japón y se comenta desde varios ángulos – político, empresarial, medioambiental y social – los temas relacionados con la “cadena de suministro”, concepto que hace años ni se mencionaba.
• Los temas sociales y medioambientales tienen ahora un peso que no tenían hace treinta años.
Es una curiosa coincidencia que en el ejemplar de la revista HBR de enero de este año (2008), Michael Porter hace una revisión de un artículo que se publicó en esta misma revista el año 1979 (casi coincide con el período de 30 años) – How competitive forces shape strategy – y que ha supuesto un hito en el estudio de esta materia. ¿Qué es lo que el actualmente renombrado profesor Porter – entonces profesor asociado – de la Harvard Business School considera que ha cambiado?
A pesar de que las novedades ocurridas las integra como “otros factores” en algunas de sus cinco fuerzas – dando a entender que su artículo mantiene su vigencia casi sin retoques – considero que por su relevancia se deben dar más protagonismo a algunas de estas novedades.

Read more…

26
Jun

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Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects, Social Impact Management
IE Business School is pleased to announce a new collaborative agreement with the Women’s Forum, an organization based in Paris, France that promotes women’s vision on the economic and social issues that matter most and that are at the heart of the most compelling concerns of our times. Rated by the Financial Times in 2007 as one of the world’s top five international most influential forums, the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society has become in only three years an international must-attend event.
At its third edition last October, the Women’s Forum Global Meeting organized in Deauville (France) reached a new dimension. It welcomed nearly 1,200 leaders and opinion trendsetters from all walks of life – the economy, politics, culture or academia. Participants represented over 70 countries; there were 150 speakers of international renown and a programme containing over 60 lectures, debates and workshops.
In an attempt to integrate the future generation of leaders, the Women’s Forum invites every year an International Student Delegation to attend its flagship Global Meeting in Deauville. The International Student Team aims at opening the Women’s Forum to a selected number of students to create links between the 1,200 women leaders and the future generation of businessmen and women. It is a unique opportunity for young students to attend and contribute to an exclusive event. It is the chance for those students to meet influential leaders and conduct research with a team of international students from high-ranking universities. The Women’s Forum will welcome two female MBA students from IE Business School in Deauville from October 16th to 18th. They will be part of a group of 20 students from all over the world that have been specially selected because of their outstanding profiles and keen interest in promoting women’s issues. IE Business School is delighted to participate in this special initiative.

23
Jun

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
The Economist is holding an online debate on Corporate Sustainability. The main question their asking is weather outside pressure is required for companies to take meaningful action on sustainability. The debate will be held during this week and until June 27th.
On the Pro side, Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, comments on her opening statement the following:
“Outsiders—investors, environmentalists, public interest groups, other industry experts—have an essential role in pressuring companies on their handling of environmental and social threats. They should be asking tough questions; they should be offering creative, out-of-the-box ideas; they should be demanding real action; and they should be holding companies accountable.”
On the Con side, Björn Stigson, President of the WBCSD opens with the following statement:
“The resolution puts the relations between business and the rest of society into unhelpfully antagonistic terms. Business, in the black hat, is the recalcitrant offender, with no internal motivation to do the right thing while outside parties are the good sheriff, enforcing meaningful action on sustainability in an otherwise lawless frontier.
The resolution implies the following:
1. External influences are the main motivation for corporations in addressing sustainability issues.
2. Pressure is the best description of the relations between stakeholders and business.
3. Corporations always resist external accountability.
4. External pressure is both necessary and sufficient to get corporations to take meaningful action on sustainability.”
Where do you stand on this debate? Take part on the conversation at the Debate Hall.

9
Jun

Pay for luck

Written on June 9, 2008 by Max Oliva in Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility

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Joaquín Garralda, Vice Decano de IE Business School, Director del Centro PwC & IE de Responsabilidad Corporativa
El día 5 de junio asistí a un seminario para docentes que patrocinaba la Fundación Rafael del Pino en colaboración con la Universidad Complutense, en el que participaba la profesora María Guadalupe de Columbia Business School. Extraigo una observación que hizo el profesor Alvaro Cuervo en su presentación: “Los banqueros que formaban parte del jurado que te dió el premio a tu artículo, estaban muy contentos con las conclusiones de tu investigación”. En su artículo académico, la investigadora se cuestionaba sobre las razones del importante aumento de los salarios de los altos directivos en los años pasados. Se planteaba si la razón fundamental era un “pay for luck”, fruto de su poder en la empresa que en momentos en que el ciclo económico es muy positivo les es fácil subirse el salario, o si se debía más a la complejidad competitiva de sobrevivir en un mercado más globalizado.
La conclusión era que el factor que explicaba mejor el ascenso en retribuciones, no era el posible efecto de la “Teoría de la Agencia” que permite a la alta dirección subirse el sueldo en contra de los intereses de los accionistas, sino el aumento de complejidad atribuible al incremento de importaciones competitivas como resultado de la globalización de los mercados.
El artículo tiene más razones que podrían considerarse a favor de la justificación de las subidas retributivas – como el aumento del porcentaje de la parte variable sobre la retribución total – , pero la reflexión que hago aquí es si una justificación académica tiene suficiente fuerza frente a una percepción generalizada de abuso, que se desprende de muchos artículos en los medios de comunicación. A pesar de que a los banqueros les haya gustado, no creo que lo vayan a utilizar como argumento “fuerte” en debates públicos en los que prefieren mantener un perfil bajo sobre el tema.

29
May

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
This year’s Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation has been awarded to the organizations leading the fight against malaria in Africa, which are: The Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre (Tanzania), the Malaria Research and Training Centre (Mali), the Kintampo Health Research Centre (Ghana) and the Manhiça Centre of Health Research (Mozambique).
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I had the opportunity to spend a week at Ifakara visiting the Centre there, while doing a case study on how Novartis has been integrating corporate responsibility to the core of their strategy. There, we went more in depth on their Malaria program, supported by the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, and it certainly was very interesting to see the work being done in regards to its prevention, through social marketing and others, viewing their access to effective treatment of malaria, attacking the mosquitoes, the parasite, etc.
My most sincere congratulations to the people who have been working for the past years on this project. There’s certainly still a very long way to go but it is fundamental that their work is recognized and we can focus more our attention to the problem and its solutions.

Read more…

27
May

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Joaquín Garralda, Vice Decano de IE Business School, Director del Centro PwC & IE de Responsabilidad Corporativa
Ayer asistí a un taller sobre la Iniciativa de Transparencia de las Industrias Extractivas (EITI en inglés), en el que la doctora Karl, profesora de la Universidad de Stanford, mantenía que la causa de la pobreza e inestabilidad social de la mayoría de los países que son ricos en recursos naturales, en especial en petróleo, no se debía fundamentalmente a que los gobiernos fueran corruptos – que lo son a menudo y que es la parte visible del iceberg en muchos casos -, sino porque se había truncado la relación “natural” entre los ciudadanos y el estado.
Históricamente el estado va creciendo a partir de las aportaciones que hacen los ciudadanos con sus impuestos; sin embargo, en el caso de muchos países ricos en petróleo, el estado puede crecer mediante las transferencias de recursos de los demás países, sin tener que apelar a las rentas y ahorros de sus ciudadanos. Esta diferencia, tiene varias consecuencias. Por un lado, el estado, al no pedirles nada, no necesita tenerlos de su lado o aprobar sus proyectos. Por otro, al tener una fuente de ingresos que no está sometida a un intenso escrutinio por los ciudadanos, suelen utilizar los recursos de una manera arbitraria, favoreciendo a unos grupos frente a otros. Estos grupos favorecidos, suelen estar elegidos por el líder político de tal manera que le deban todo – como ya recomendaba Maquiavelo en su obra “El Príncipe” – lo que les hace ser profundamente fieles – en formas y conductas – a quien les ha favorecido. Para tratar de evitar la más mínima posibilidad de que el poderoso albergue una ligera duda de su lealtad, que le indujera a cambiar de colectivo favorecido con la misma arbitrariedad con la que les benefició en su momento, sus comportamientos son radicales y repetitivos. La consecuencia lógica de esta situación es que los líderes que alcanzan el poder cuando el precio del petróleo está alto, permanecen en él durante un período mayor que la media de los países, siendo además muy posible que el sistema político degenere en una dictadura deshumanizada.

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26
May

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Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects, Social Impact Management
IE Business School is pleased to announce a new “Training and Mentoring Program for Women-Led Business”, as developed by Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) together with the Center for Diversity in Global Management and the Department of Entrepreneurial Management at the IE . Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) is an African NGO working to foster peace in Africa. Since its inception in 1996, FAS has striven to strengthen and promote the leading role of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.
This Training and Mentoring Program is generously sponsored by the Government of Spain (AECI). Its aim is to assist 25 entrepreneurial women who have established business enterprises with strong growth potential in Liberia, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal, Mozambique and South Africa. Once identified, these 25 female entrepreneurs are paired up with one or two volunteer International MBA students who, over the course of the summer, will 1) meet them in person in Madrid during the women’s on-site training; 2) visit them for 2 to 4 weeks in their respective countries and give them personal assistance for their business locally; 3) continue their business consulting over email. Of the 25 candidates, 10 will be selected after the summer to present their business plan to a panel of investors in Geneva in October. Some IMBA students will have the opportunity to accompany their business mentee to Geneva.

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12
May

A visual account on world changing events

Written on May 12, 2008 by Max Oliva in Uncategorized

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management TEDBIGVIZ.jpg
Year after year events take place at IE and elsewhere which demand remembrance, sharing and continuity on the conversations they entail. It is an energy which can hardly be shared if not lived and due to an overloaded agenda of work which awaits for us at the office as we return to our daily schedules; whichever experience quickly diffuses between layers of paper and email. Or not? How about a visual experience? This is what TED is doing with their annual gathering.
Certainly their videos on TED Talks already make accessible their content to a broad range of people who cannot make it to the event. But this visual portrait of each session helps not only retain the key messages but perhaps relieve for a brief moment the experience which took place at each conversation. I looked more into detail at that conversation given by Ben Zander; I was not on that specific session, but I have been twice in sessions with him and it certainly allowed me to relieve those moments. Perhaps it is an exercise worth exploring if you want your audience to leave your events with something to take home with them.

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