ASQ released our annual Pathways to Social Responsibility report, a collection of case studies by organizations that are furthering their social responsibility efforts. Reading their stories makes me think. ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility) was released on November 1, 2010, but was available in various draft forms for at least two years before the release. How has the standard shaped our dialogue?
ASQ’s 2011 Future of Quality Study identifies global responsibility as the most significant force in shaping the future of quality. China’s Quality Development Outline (2011-2020) includes significant language in support of being socially responsible. Europe can point to many developments that have social responsibility at their root.
For more on the intersection of business and social responsibility, see this research study that ASQ conducted in partnership with IBM (PDF). A total of 1,105 respondents participated in this study, which details distinguishing characteristics and metrics that worldwide organizations use to lead to successful SR programs.
And so I wonder, is the world growing more responsive to the needs of being socially responsible? Is SR mainstream thought, or still in the fringe? Have those that know quality raised their voices to explain to organizations that being socially responsible is not about philanthropy (giving money for social good), but about business : “Doing well by doing good.”
Is the quality community helping organizations understand that SR is an ideology until matched with methodologies? And that quality concepts, techniques, and tools provide the needed methodologies to obtain and sustain SR goals?
Phil Crosby helped to popularize quality in 1980 with his book “Quality is Free.” He made the argument for executives that quality doesn’t cost more, it costs less than poor quality. And so goes the argument for SR. It needn’t cost to be socially responsible; it benefits. SR benefits the top line and bottom line. When executives understand they can save money, reduce risk, and enhance their reputation by being socially responsible–they will. Who better than the quality community to provide the needed education? More good reason to raise your voice.
This month, tell me how you’re making the case for quality and social responsibility. And if you’re not—why?