A Look at Executive Comebacks and the Outlook for Corporate Social Responsibility
Our agency’s partners from around the globe meet periodically throughout the year to discuss agency business and to consider broader topics. This summer, we met in Atlanta, Georgia, and our speakers included two widely respected voices from the business world: Chris Pinney, director of executive education for the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, and Jeff Sonnenfeld, a professor at Yale University's School of Management and a nationally recognized leadership expert.
Sonnenfeld recently co-authored a book called Firing Back, which profiles several prominent business executives who made strong comebacks after being fired or facing other career disasters. He spoke to our group about the key characteristics of leaders who are able to make such transitions. Those characteristics help outline critical steps to take after a disaster threatens a career or a brand. Pinney, who has more than a decade of international experience in corporate citizenship, talked about how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming fundamental to the way business operates. CSR can no longer be a few isolated initiatives within a company; it must be an authentic part of a company’s brand.
At first glance their topics seem unrelated. But after listening to both men speak, a common theme was clear. Pinney and Sonnenfeld both talked about moving to a next stage – whether in an individual career or a business environment – and public perceptions of such moves.
So we’ve tied these two topics – executive comebacks and CSR – together in an issue of Perspectives Extra that we’re calling “Next Stages.” Our "CSR" and "Leadership" articles lay out the major points made by Pinney and Sonnenfeld and include excerpts from each of their presentations. We also have provided a link to a short podcast from Pinney's presentation, so that you can hear some of his insights on CSR for yourself. The "Getting to the Next Stage" article offers insights from several Ketchum professionals who have been counseling clients on leadership and CSR for years. Finally, I'd like to ask each of you to take a brief online poll that will gauge what stage your company's CSR is in and how public relations fits into it. Results will be posted in our next issue of Perspectives and on Ketchum.com.
As always, I welcome feedback on Perspectives. Please e-mail me at email@example.com.