As of today, Social Innovation, Inc. is shipping from Amazon! And we’ve been fortunate to have our first review from Lindsay Clinton at Beyond Profit. You can read it here. I like that Lindsay points out the conflict in pointing out social innovation strategies of companies like Coca Cola or Walmart which others may perceive as socially harmful in other aspects of their business. Here’s where I come out on this (as I state in the book’s conclusion):
“The simple truth is that corporations don’t have a conscience, only people do. If we want to motivate business to solve social problems, we have to start from the assumption that companies will only ever care about the bottom line. We can critique that, bemoan it, rail against it or try to change it. But we must also accept it, and find creative ways to inject social change into the stream of commerce, to work in concert with market forces. It is only in this way that we can unleash the full potential and resources of business to solve social problems.”
There are many organizations out there policing “bad” companies. I think they’re doing their work just fine. Where I hope to make a contribution is not by doing more policing, but by inspiring companies and teaching them how they can make a tremendous amount of profits by using social change as a business strategy. I think we need advocacy on both sides – encouraging companies to be more socially responsible and encouraging companies to be more socially profitable!