As Henry Ford said: « To assemble is a beginning; to stay together is progress; working together is success. A quote that always makes sense, even when it comes to stressing the CSR goals of an organization.
Companies have found that « moving forward together », ie forming partnerships, was the best approach to addressing sustainability challenges.
According to a 2015 study , 90% of managers recognize the importance of CSR collaboration, but only 47% of their organizations are really involved in this type of partnership. To ensure the success of these collaborations, there are several things you need to think about:
I. Why want to collaborate?
Partnerships are there to help you achieve goals that you could not achieve on your own. Your actions must have a real purpose. If you just want to get attention in the media, there are easier ways to get there. CSR is a problem that goes beyond that. You need to step back and define what that will bring you and your potential partners.
ENGIE , a global energy player, has joined the World Urban Campaign to « promote sustainable cities from a social and environmental point of view ». They realized that a private company, alone, is limited to create a real transformation. By joining a community with over 136 partners to date, they are taking a step further to make a real impact.
II. What are our goals ?
Once again, partnerships are made to « move forward together ». This means that you and your partner need to look in the same direction and have the same goals, otherwise your collaboration may be doomed to failure. When looking for potential partners, try to find organizations that share the same vision and are as committed to this cause as you are. Set some ambitious and shared goals for everyone.
L’Oréal, the world leader in cosmetics, is setting an example: their goal is to engage all their strategic suppliers in their CSR program by 2020. Although this objective is quite ambitious, it remains achievable since the group selects its suppliers on the basis of their environmental and social performance and provides them with the knowledge and tools necessary to improve their performance in this area. So far, they have already been able to implement this strategy with 51% of their suppliers.
III. Who will be in charge of the project?
Identifying the right person for the project is as important as selecting the right goals. Engagement is a key element in reaching them. A dedicated manager who shares the vision of the partnership, can only ensure its good development. But after all, it’s a group project, so be sure to engage your employees and all stakeholders in the discussion as this could bring new ideas.
BMW, the German automaker, has launched the BMW Group Dialogue, a format for creating a permanent exchange with stakeholders to align business goals with the needs and expectations of a global company, and to refine its CSR strategy from a general point of view.
IV. How will you measure the success of the project?
Forget the rigid KPIs for a moment. Collaborations can hide surprising values for partners. Although your partnership will not necessarily change the face of the world, it can still inspire others and encourage them to join your vision – because collaborations are not limited in terms of participants!
The examples of ENGIE, L’Oréal and BMW, which we are proud to count among our customers , show the power of good CSR partnerships. They all share a vision, that of making a better world, and even if it will not happen tomorrow, they push us to join the movement.
V. Do you use the right tools to create successful partnerships?
Optimy peut permettre le succès de vos collaborations RSE. Notre logiciel vous aide à comparer les candidats potentiels sur la base de vos propres critères, ce qui simplifiera le processus de décision et vous aidera à adapter les objectifs de votre organisation à ceux de vos futurs partenaires. Chez Optimy, la collaboration et la communication sont les maîtres mots. Ses outils de collaboration et son système de messagerie vous permettront de gérer facilement vos projets avec une équipe constituée de personnes internes et externes à votre organisation, afin d’atteindre les meilleurs résultats possibles.
Découvrez-en plus sur la façon dont Optimy peut vous aider à gérer vos partenariats !