Creativity Is Turning Cost into Benefit
The idea of this buzz emerged while preparing a lecture on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The pyramid of responsibility below shows that making profits is the basic one. Legal responsibility is an enforced one by law comes next. Ethical responsibility follows with philanthropic responsibility topping the pyramid.
One main objection of CSR is that corporate need to make profits and that social and environmental responsibilities not only fall beyond their domain, but also adds to the corporate' costs. I feel this thinking is short-sighted and is the major hidden cost for corporate who think this way. First, corporate can't be responsible selectively. To make profit with disregard to the environment by polluting it, to give one example, is a lopsided thinking. It is a win-lose scenario and is an egoist one.
Creative thinking is the thinking that turns costs into profits. Creative thinking is also the thinking that which turns a win-lose case into a win-win case.
Great corporations see embedded opportunities in CSR that only creative minds shall dig out. Corporations with this mindset are qualified to "see" this opportunity. They enjoy positive thinking. To explain by example, Hewlett-Packard Germany has come up with a great idea of Optical Wires to transmit electricity with 20 times more efficiency than electrical wires made of copper. These efforts shall make the company more profitable and the consumers and the environment shall also be profitable. CSR is not a cost for the creative minds; more it is an opportunity for creative innovations.
Another notable example is Warby Parker: This eye glass company has launched a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program where for each purchase made, glasses are given to someone in need. Warby Parker has already made a difference by donating over 150,000 pairs by working with nonprofit partners. No wonder this company has a huge Reputation Capital that brings profit for the company.
Responsibility doesn't have two faces: one positive and one negative. It is only positive.
This positivity brings along with it positive mindsets, positive thinking and then positive actions that lead to profitable products for the corporate, the consumer, the society and the environment. Unfortunately, the reverse is true. Who would then deal with companies who have the wrong responsibility?