ESG breakfast briefing in conjunction with Good Business
Nina Simone, American musician and activist said, 'You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.' This is as relevant today for organisations according to Aerial Ellis, speaking to a packed room at Echo Research’s latest ESG Breakfast Briefing held in London this week in conjunction with Good Business.
Here are 12 top take-aways from our discussion:
1. Leadership matters – more than ever – and leaders need space to practice and fail
2. Be clear about responsibility and accountability – is the competency there, the will, the resources and the courage?
3. Consider carefully what is the relationship between your organisation and the issue at stake? Be clear about its materiality in order to make decisions about asset allocation
4. Move from reactive mode to strategic proactivity, but don’t be drawn into media-driven stories and make arbitrary decisions: have a framework informed by your purpose
5. Be authentic. Social engagement needs to be anchored on clear and measurable deliverables relevant to you.
6. Be brave and purposeful: know where you are and where you need to engage at pace – harness stakeholder input and evidence to guide you
7. Be clear about reputational and societal value: understand what is relevant to measure and important to change. Don’t be afraid to say ‘This is important but not relevant to us’
8. Develop ‘intercultural competence’. Organisations are made up of people and people are human….listening and preparation is all – harness working groups at all levels and engage with those who can share best practice
9. Process: Be systematic and thorough in building systems and accountability around social activism; get the infrastructure right internally first
10. Know the difference between ambition and humility and embrace both
11. Mind the gap between say/do and safety/bravery
12. Think about how you show up – language is key, and hearts & minds story-telling will support the journey of change and progress.