What I learned at the #BCConf12 – International Corporate Citizenship Conference

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What I learned at the #BCConf12 – International Corporate Citizenship Conference

Campbell's Dave Stangis posts a few thoughts on the 2012 Boston College International Corporate Citizenship Conference
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.@CampbellCSR's @DaveStangis shares a few thoughts following #BCConf12 #CSR http://3bl.me/m9hehe
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 3:00am


More than 500 CSR practitioners exchanged ideas this week in AZ at BC’s International Corporate Citizenship Conference.  By now, they are all heading home or are already there, and if they are like me, they have a list of great ideas. Everyone I met gave me at least one idea – thank you – you know who you are.  I’m not sure if Corporations are wired to learn, but I know people are. 

I don’t get much time to gather my thoughts anymore – this world of CSR is all-consuming.  But considering I only had 2 presentations and a bunch of email to catch up on, the 4+ hr flight home provided a couple minutes to jot down a few reflections and a list of random key learnings in no particular order.  I invite you to add yours to the list if you were there – or were following the happenings on Twitter.  Note – I could only be in one place at one time, so I missed at least 75% of the learning going on!

#1 – The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (better known as BCCCC) annual conference is getting better.  They’ve learned to extend the core from Community Affairs to strategic business value.  It’s hard for any one conference to meet the needs of 550 professionals, but they’ve made some recent leaps and bounds.

#2 – Titles and reporting structures aren’t that important and aren’t consistent.  Get over it.  Find what works best with your culture and influence needs and run with it.

#3 – Every person you met is doing something better than you are.  I hope you found out what it was.  If not, I guess we’ll see you next year in Boston.

#4 – The attendees are smart – very smart.  The corporate citizenship discipline is growing up fast.

#5 – Social media matters. 

#6 – Legal and CSR get along very well in today’s marketplace.

#7 – Ed Fox (APS) and Brad Smith (Microsoft) can captivate an audience.

#8 – The Chocolate Biz is interesting and tasty…and the stories from the students at the Hershey School are amazing.

#9 – The knowledge isn’t on the panels, it’s in the audience.

#10 – Affinity networks and employees in general are the big key to success and not fully tapped in the CSR Agenda.  HR holds an important key for success.  I hope they know it.

#11 – Target knows how to brand a room.

#12 – Q&A beats PowerPoint 9 times out of 10.

#13 – If you share your venue with the Reebok Brand Conference, you better be in the fitness center by 5am if you want to work out.

#14 – Ernst & Young, PwC and Accenture have a LOT of people on the case.

#15 – Measurement is still elusive, but that’s no reason not to pursue it.  The questions we ask and the metrics we track matter.  So pick the right ones!

#16 – You are your company’s secret CEO.  Help the not so secret CEO be more successful every day.

#17 – Employees want to live their values at work.  If you can’t find a way to tap into that fact, you’re leaving productivity at the door.

#18 – Storytelling is a critical competency.  If you aren’t a story teller (like me) make sure you find at least one for your team.

#19 – Every brand and every sector is represented…and our work will never be done.  So get back to work…