Business and its ability to stimulate economic growth is a force for good that can be much more powerful (and effective!) than governments, NGOs or philanthropists. It is our best hope for finding solutions to poverty and climate change. But for this to happen, we need business leadership – at all levels of the organization – that understands that their duty of care requires them to not only “do no harm”, but more importantly, to actively “do good”.
This duty of care has been identified as one of the eleven capabilities of ‘business acumen’ which is, in turn, one of the highest demand areas of leadership development. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, 65% of executives believe that a lack of business acumen is limiting their organization’s ability to execute strategy. Whilst leaders may have a range of understanding of the other ten capabilities, many struggle to fully appreciate the scope of ‘duty of care’ and to understand just how broad their ability and responsibility to be a force for good is. Lack of leadership role models in their career and poor transparency in organizational cultures of the “why” can be part of the issue.
The Business Acumen Gauge (BAG) developed by Quad Assessment, and which Sloan Group International is proud to be able to offer to all of its clients, has an 11 point assessment on Duty of Care, based on the research that the BAG was developed from.
Because we believe in #InspiringLeadership, Managing Partner of our Asia Pacific Region, David Ryan, who co-authored the BAG, has generously agreed to share some of these questions here with you. It’s just one piece of a bigger puzzle, but it is massively important that we collectively raise awareness and encourage as many leaders as possible to be a force for good!
As you consider this excerpt from the assessment, think about the degree to which your leadership displays these attributes and the practical application of these concepts within your business.
- Takes responsibility for the wellbeing of his/her staff
- Is socially perceptive and responsive
- Is able to influence and persuade others for organizational good
- Is a steward for the organization’s future
- Shows active concern for the welfare of the communities that the organization serves
- Capably monitors and mitigates compliance risks
- Understands that the organization is part of a much wider community
As Mark Kramer states in his recent Harvard Business Review article on the backlash against Larry Fink’s diversity initiatives at BlackRock, “we must censure those CEOs who fail to take social consequences into account and, as a result, harm their shareholders’ returns.”
The world is indeed changing and the expectations of leaders to be a force for good are only going to rise!