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Do it, then talk about it

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Yesterday the New York Times had a close look at Stakeholder Capitalism and gave a report card. Not Good.

It noted that the pandemic and the movement for racial justice has seen corporate pledges to pursue justice as much as they pursue profit tested.

And found wanting.

I think there have been some signs of progress in this area in fairness.

Certainly, when Rio Tinto said two weeks ago that the CEO would quit over the destruction of Aboriginal caves, that felt like a milestone for CSR.

It was a serious nudge in the direction of other CEOs: This stuff matters these days, and you might lose your job if you don’t take it seriously.

From a hacks point of view, big companies seem genuinely mystified that we don’t write more often about their grand intentions.

Look at our earnest declarations! See how nice we say we are going to be!

The whole corporate approach to these things and indeed most things is to talk about what they intend to do before they get around to actually doing it.

I have never understood why it wouldn’t be far better to do it first, then talk about it.

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