This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and LEAP!, the United Nations PRME Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset. The series aims to feature perspectives and insights from the 76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management Conference, Anaheim 2016. For more information about the Conference, visit www.aom.org. Here comes an overview of the Huffington Post contributions.
Head of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), an initiative of the UN Global Compact that seeks to transform business and management education, research, and thought leadership globally.
Meaningful corporations? Business Schools Can Help Us Get There.
The article focuses on how the Sustainable Development Goals are a shared vision for the world we want by 2030, and how they invite a wide range of stakeholders to take part.
Business and management-related higher education institutions — the bedrock of PRME — play a crucial role in making the SDGs a reality. For example, achieving the SDGs will require more sustainable and responsible companies. Those companies will need to be managed by leaders who understand the dynamics of the 21st century, and appreciate the value of responsibility and sustainability.
Isabel Rimanoczy, Ed.D.
Author and academic researcher of the sustainability mindset
Making Corporations Meaningful
9,000 management scholars from around the world gathered under the theme of “Making Organizations Meaningful” for the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. This year’s theme: Making Organizations Meaningful, perhaps reflecting a collective response to the planetary social and environmental challenges, was an invitation to explore how we can (re?-) instate purpose into what we do. A recurring point was that we need to connect the organization with all its stakeholders— the traditional ones (clients, vendors, employees, community) but also the less-considered ones— Nature and the next generations— since the decisions taken in an organization impact them in very clear ways. This, in turn led attention Sustainability, connecting the concept of meaningful organizations with organizations as institutions responsible for their actions and their impact on planet and society. Is Sustainability a course, or a lens through which we need to look at the world? Is it a job or a department in a corporation, or something that should permeate the organization?
Metamorphosis from award winning investigative reporter on corporate misconduct to celebrating business for good innovations & UN SDGs
Business 101: AIM2Flourish
The article focuses on how AIM2Flourish prepares business school professors around the world to teach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing Professor Resources to students. The professors share syllabi, best practices, and network with each other around particular interests and share a common passion: educating the next generation of business leaders on ways to practice business as a force for good. Today, professors and students in some 50 countries participate on the AIM2Flourish.com platform and have published some 200 examples of diverse and inspiring business innovation stories—most of which can’t be found in business publications or anywhere else.
At the end of 2016, all of the stories gathered globally and published on AIM2Flourish.com will be considered for one of the 17 Flourish Prizes matched to each of the 17 UN SDGs. We’ll celebrate the extraordinary best-of-the-best at the Fourth Global Forum on June 14-16, 2017 at CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio.
Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, AACSB International, internationally recognized expert, author, and presenter on business education
For Business Schools, Being Good is No Longer Good Enough
Starting now, simply being a good business school is neither good enough nor particularly straightforward. More than ever, society expects business schools to help solve complex social problems not just business problems. Meanwhile, local communities want more from their high-performing business schools. They want new jobs to be created, and they want businesses to come and graduates to stay. In short, they want impact, not just performance, from the business schools they support.
Even as society expects more from them, universities and business schools are facing their own challenges. New platforms and providers are redefining higher education and highlighting the deficiencies of long-standing institutions. The glue that held universities together has been weakening as we “unbundle” degrees and learners consume education from a wider array providers, and as they discover more direct channels for reaching potential employers. Professors too are becoming less tied to a single university.
AACSB International, the leading accreditor in business education worldwide, is leading the transformation by, for example, engaging business education stakeholders globally to develop A Collective Vision for Business Education.
Professor of management, executive director of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Case Western Reserve University
Management, Spirituality, Gen Z
The article explores the role of mindfulness practices in business and the author’s research into how such practices helped leaders experience the world as more deeply connected – to self, others, and Nature – and what it meant for sustainable business outcomes. At the AOM Conference he learned that the topic of spirituality and religion attracted a large number of management scholars for a wide variety of reasons. A holistic worldview was seen as more likely to produce caring and stewardship behaviors as we become more empathetic and compassionate; we see ourselves as an integral part of the natural world rather than separate from it; and we become more coherent in ourselves and in our interactions with others.
Such an awareness lies at the heart of business as a force for good, as leaders experience their lives and the lives of their organizations as relational rather than as bounded individual entities. The goal becomes to create prosperity for all, not just for the richest one percent; and to contribute to a healthy environment and improved human well-being. This is very different from the current goal of generating profit in a model of minimizing harm implicit in today’s corporate sustainability efforts.
Advisor, speaker, writer (Green to Gold, The Big Pivot)
The Search for Meaning in Business
The world needs business people with new skills to tackle big, thorny environmental and social challenges. In a world facing mega-challenges like climate change, resource pressures, and inequality, that traditional education is inadequate. Our future innovators and business leaders need to understand systems, not just functional areas. Students also need new financial tools. The hard-to-measure, like employee passion and knowledge, customer loyalty, resilience, and license to operate, can now dominate the value of a business. Business leaders have to understand customers and their motivations and work collaboratively with a diverse group of people. So I envision ever-more focus on compassion, empathy, and ethics.
In total, all these skills will help ensure that businesses and organizations are connected to the world around them. It’s about making organizations, yes, more meaningful. With the right training and a new mindset, taught by schools focused on meaning, the entrepreneurs and executives of the future will help build a more purposeful, thriving world.
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