This week I had the pleasure of witnessing ethics in action both away and on the home front.
The “away” reference is directed toward Colgate-Palmolive and Ian Cook of New York City. The highly esteemed and unmistakably British Mr. Cook is currently the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive and was invited by the School of Business to visit and deliver a lecture on corporate social responsibility in today’s business marketplace. Mr. Cook provided a rich tapestry of examples of Colgate-Palmolive’s efforts in the United States and locales such as the Philippines and much of Europe where the company employs a corporate philosophy of managing with respect. And how does one multi-billion-dollar entity do that, you may ask?
According to Mr. Cook, managing with respect requires keeping calm under stress, being optimistic and resilient, communicating well, having a sense of humor, and, most importantly, getting outside of one’s self. This means it is imperative that global managers regularly leave their home country and culture in order to best learn how to manage a diversity of people and environments. Mr. Cook noted that in a world where values matter more than ever, it is critical that Colgate-Palmolive remain steadfast in its “living our values” strategy that focuses on people, performance, and planet.
Back on the home front, after the informative and inspiring lecture by Mr. Cook, MBA Admissions invited prospective MBA candidates to a panel discussion on the importance of social impact and how social responsibility and sustainability are incorporated into the GW MBA curriculum. Several current students led a discussion on their involvement with Net Impact and how they were becoming well versed in pertinent issues related to sustainability and social enterprise through coursework in environment, energy, technology, society, and global corporate social responsibility.
No GW School of Business CSR discussion is complete without current students mentioning Dr. Tim Fort, Executive Director of the GW Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility and the GW Peace through Commerce program. GW students emphasized how their views of CSR are being shaped by Dr. Fort’s research on using organizational structures to foster effective ethical sentiments in business. GW students also noted how valuable it is to be at a business school with a robust and thriving Net Impact chapter. The GW School of Business chapter regularly hosts networking events, conferences, and panels with leading industry experts from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The students’ enthusiasm for social enterprise and the GW experience was clearly evident and recognized by the prospective MBA candidates.
Overall the panel discussion was both informal and influential—time well spent for all.
Posted by Judith on February 11, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.