We frequently get asked to evaluate the “good corporate citizen” aspect of our clients’ brand image. This has ranged from degree of “greenness” to employee satisfaction and morale. And in some cases our clients have asked us to look at multiple indicators of corporate responsibility, such as greenness, commitment to community, a good place to work, responsible products, etc.
When thinking about this the other day for a client, I asked myself – are we a good corporate citizen? Now if you’re a Fortune 50 company, you almost by default have to pay attention to your responsibility to the community at large. But does MSI?
The answer I came to was yes. And as I thought about how we built the company, I recognized that responsibility to our larger community was reflected in many of the decisions we have made. A few examples:
- For the past 4 or 5 years, we have stopped sending holiday gifts at the end of the year. I know, some of you that yearned for chocolate-covered potato chips were disappointed. And for sure my good friends at Gifts on Wheels were disappointed as well. But we decided to take that money and donate to a Worldwide Children’s Charity. This will be our fifth year of supporting organizations like…Save the Children’s® Global Action Fund.
- We’ve also run team-building volunteer efforts such as lending our combined manual labor to the rehab of a house for abused women.
- We participate with many of the key universities in our area to provide internships for students desiring a career in research. And I should add that many of our up-and-coming employees have been picked from these intern programs.
- Even the design of our current office space reflects a desire to create a positive work environment. In our headquarters NO ONE has an office (and that includes me). We all work together – senior and junior members – to deliver insights into our clients’ businesses – so why put up walls? We’ve built an incredibly cooperative work environment, with lots of open-air meeting areas, conference rooms with tons of white boards and even TVs throughout the office. And while I must confess that our motivation for the TVs was for an occasional diversion and the ability to stay on top of breaking news – these do get used heavily on the first day of the NCAA tournament, U.S. Open, World Series, etc.
But while we’ve contributed to our community at large throughout our history, we never really had a formal sustained effort. So we’re going to change that. For the next 12 months, MSI will embark on an effort to support 4 specific charities; men’s cancer, women’s cancer, childhood cancer (Penn State’s THON) and world-wide child well-being.
And thinking about what we’ve accomplished so far, the one area we haven’t officially supported is men’s health. So what better way to kick off our community responsibility than to support Movember? http://us.movember.com/team/514957
In a nutshell, Movember is a worldwide effort to raise funds for prostate and testicular cancer. Very simply, the men of MSI will grow mustaches throughout the month and we’ll seek sponsorship of our team through our clients, friends and extended families. Further, MSI will match all donations up to the first $5,000 raised.
And we hope to have fun with this as well – you can follow our progress on Facebook. At the end we will be rewarding the best “stash” with an appropriate prize. We may even ask you to vote on the best stash via a short online survey.
P.S. – Please forgive us if we show up to meetings looking a bit scruffy – it’s for a good cause.