How to Grow Your Business through Community BuildingApril 6th, 2010 by Julie Urlaub
Synergy comes from the Greek word synergia, meaning joint work and cooperative action. Synergy is created when things work in concert together to create an outcome that is in some way of more value than the total of what the individual inputs is.
Solutions to complex problems can be sparked by unusual pairings. Consider how you can grow your business by partnering with a nonprofit, NGO, or the like to not only address corporate social responsibility but also powerfully contribute to the improvement of community issues.
In a report by Forum for the Future, the authors discuss the hallmarks of sustainability leaders. Specifically in the area of community relations, the report discusses some key business distinctions.
> Community activities have strong links to the core business, its brands and its products/services.
> The business measures the outcomes, rather than just inputs, of its community activities.
> A clear strategy at group level provides the framework for initiatives carried out at the local level through partnership with community groups, local businesses, regulators etc.
> Measures are in place to ensure initiatives add value both to the community and to the business.
> Initiatives are delivered via mixed investments of time, finance, knowledge and skills.
How can you grow your business through community building? Match your company values with partnering organizations in the community. Focus on:
> Shared interest
> Creating a win/win outcome
> Meeting commitments to the local community
> Delivering on social business targets
> Building local trust
> Improving stakeholder relations
> Developing a skilled local supplier base
These kinds of partnerships lead to beneficial back scratching -to affect change and get a better grounding for the corporate social responsibility programs and business sustainability strategies. Organizations working together allow sustainability plans to synergize in a way neither organization can achieve on its own.