IBM’s newest take on its successful Conversations for a Smaller Planet campaign is a solid example of how a corporation can blend its business purpose with a related social purpose in an authentic, believable way.
The headline reads “A mandate for change is a mandate for smart” and the copy explores the downside of the global integration of information, a situation that IBM has clearly helped to create, and the potential for positive change through smart systems that can “help transform energy grids, supply chains, and waste management, as well as helping confirm the authenticity of pharmaceuticals and the security of currency exchanges”.
I was struck by the company’s courage to (tacitly) acknowledge that it has been part of the problem as well as to declare that “businesses and governments everywhere have a unique opportunity to transform the way the world works”. This is an unusual message from a large corporation and, I think, speaks to the Obama-led set of principles including accountability, transparency, and change that are also starting to define what the private sector does and how it communicates.
I’d like to see GM, Chrysler, or Ford write a mandate for change that includes an honest account of what they’ve done wrong and a vision for what their business and social role will be in the future.
What’s your corporation’s mandate for change?