CSR Ideas


Why Women Collaborate, Men Work Alone, And Everybody’s Angry

Australia’s Governor General recently delivered this year’s Boyer Lectures that were a little refreshing compared to what has been served up to the engaged public recently.  Specifically, I am impressed with the willingness of Ms Bryce to call things as they are and not shy away from taking a stronger position on issues of women’s equality.  To think that at the doorstep of 2014 Australia, a thriving democracy, can still have disparities in gender inequality (and in fact inequalities of all of sorts) is a depressing thought.  As a collaboration educator (admittedly with limitations) and strategist, I have observed a serious gap between men and women when it comes to collaboration attitudes and more so, aptitudes.  While I think there are a few reasons for this being the case, I thought this article by Drake Baer worth sharing as it delves deeper into the issue of collaborative attitude and habits between men and women.  It seems a lot can be explained through what has been termed “relative competence”. According to the cited study the concept refers “the degree to which you think your ability matches up against that of your colleagues. In short, men tend to overestimate their abilities and downplay those of their coworkers, while women shortchange their skills and defer to their peers”.  Full article…


Collective Impact

This gem of an article is a tip from a colleague who’s just as passionate about collaboration as I am.  Thanks S! The piece is really interesting in that it provides a way of thinking that compares collaboration with other alternatives.  I suspect it somehow responds to the fairly standard thoughts about collaboration that many people hold. The piece examines the case of a collective effort called Strive  that includes 300 odd partners and which is just amazingly inspiring for me as a collaboration advocate.  The model of working together adopted by Strive is sure proof that collaboration can bring together large numbers of partners who are able to balance traditional self-interest with the need to focus on impacts that are bigger than the sum of parts.  To me this model is particularly interesting as I feel that here in Australia we could use a similar approach to build our nation’s resilience to disasters. Full article…


Countries Full of Mistrustful People Are Less Entrepreneurial

The idea that trust plays a role in business is not a revelation.  What might be a revelation however is that, despite the idea that what we may have known intuitively and now has evidence to back it up, human stubbornness plays a stronger role.  When talking about trust though, it seems that entrepreneurialism is deeply linked to the specific society and associated cultural context.  The latest study indicates that “high levels of interpersonal trust within a population reduce the uncertainties associated with engaging in entrepreneurial business activities”.  I meet people on almost a daily basis who are quick to downplay entrepreneurialism and I can’t escape the impression that a fear of change, lack of self-belief and mistrust of others have become strong features of the culture in Australia.  While this will change (whether we like it or not) due to global forces, it would be much smarter to examine ourselves more deeply as a first step towards a proactive move to making the most of emerging opportunities in the global market.  Full article…


Going Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the key drivers behind ROADMENDER is the desire to improve CSR thoughts, practices and most importantly impacts organisations should be creating to justifying the fanfare generated by CSR over the past decade and half.  So, the last recommendation for this week is perhaps the most exciting.  As author Fadi Ghandour comprehensively argues, the corporate sector has to lift its game.  While for the past 10 years or so corporates were quick to instruct non-profits to be more business-like etc., innovation and entrepreneurialism have not been as forthcoming as they could have been, given the amount of money that poured in.  In my view the biggest failure of the corporate sector (especially in Australia) was that it made two critical mistakes.  Firstly, it failed to educate its workforce about the nonprofit world and thus failed to deliver better outcomes for staff who sought meaningful engagement with nonprofit causes. Secondly, it failed to shake off the cynicism that surrounds CSR.  This article explores some new ways forward through concepts such as entrepreneurial development.  Full article…



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