“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
With the Volkswagen scam revealed, the fundamental question and concern has brought the discussion of CSR and its application on the table, particularly because of Volkswagen’s CSR Ranking! If the Corporate(s) are using the CSR as either ‘Strategic’ branding tool ONLY or to escalate the profits by hook or crook to meet the En-Forced CSR burden, will it not defeat the purpose?
3BL or TBL or 3Ps is a popular concept relevant to CSR that is more like a ‘classic’ that everybody discusses about but no one, except critics, actually reads/watches. In my Theory of Triangle, I have already tried to explain the characteristics and significance of a triangle and the nodes mentioned in it could be replaced by the 3Ps comfortably, without compromising any rationale or principle of the theory. My hypothesis using the analogy of geometry of the triangle states that no matter how you stretch the lines of the triangle, the sum of all its internal angle will always be the same, i.e. 180 degrees. There is a mutual understanding between the angles of the triangle to contract or expand in response to the change in their counterparts.
ToT stands true because Geometry [or any other pure science for that matter] never deviates from its principles. However when human intervention is assumed it becomes inevitable to anticipate and accept deviation (from ‘a little’ to ‘mammoth’, mind you!) from the all the principles, values and beliefs. And no superhero can even stabilize; forget stopping or reversing, this journey of the Economic Growth pointed by an ‘Upward’ Arrow. ‘Thinking out of the box’ is the method of finding an escape when all four sides of the box are closed tight. It takes creativity to discover that a box, in fact, has 6 sides not 4 and any one of the six is always ‘Open’ if you look at it from a different perspective!
So let’s get creative, think out of the box [‘Doughnut’ actually as put by Kate Raworth] and look at the TBL or 3Ps as Triangle Balance between People, Profit and Planet toward Sustainability by adding ‘Purpose’ at the center. If we can train our minds to focus on the ‘Purpose’ of whatever we do and cross-check it with the basic philosophies of Human Life – ‘Is it worth it?’ and ‘At the cost of what?’; most of the Principles, Mandates, Directives and Goals would start bearing fruits immediately without any enforcement, I believe…!
Remembering the Mahatma on his 146th Birth Anniversary today, I would like to share the list of Seven Social Sins, sometimes called the Seven Blunders of the World that he published in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925; exactly 90 years ago and I don’t think any CSR is beyond it if we could add our new-found insight of the central ‘P’ regarding the TBL as the Eighth entry to the list… 'Activity without Purpose!'
1. Wealth without work.
2. Pleasure without conscience.
3. Knowledge without character.
4. Commerce without morality.
5. Science without humanity.
6. Worship without sacrifice.
7. Politics without principle.
Hoping to follow Mahatma’s footsteps, at least for his principles of Trusteeship with reference to the CSR, I would prefer to pay him Homage today by his own quotes that are extraordinarily dear to me…
‘To believe in something and not to live it is dishonest…!’
‘The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed…!’
Way to go…!