Crisis Opportunity No. 04: Make a social contribution your mission

Dr. Pero Mićić

What specific opportunities do you have in the crisis?

Crisis Opportunity No. 04: Make a social contribution your mission

Corporate Social Value

Companies are organizations that are supposed to make people happier by solving problems and fulfilling desires, and they get money for it. They must create corporate social value through the core of their operations.

It is not only during the crisis that we experience how important it is for companies to be recognizably useful to society.
And that they invest all your activities in maximizing this social benefit. And only about it and from it want to earn money. That’s why Crisis Opportunity #4: Make social contribution your mission.


Known for its combine harvesters, CLAAS helps provide food for the world’s growing population by supporting professional farmers.

CureVac, a company based in Tübingen, Germany, offers society better health through innovative vaccines and therapies against several types of cancer and infectious diseases.

The Berlin-based startup AVA is on a mission to increase people’s sense of security, wherever they are.

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the transformation toward sustainable mobility and energy.

Let’s be clear about this: I am not talking about corporate social responsibility here, but about corporate social value! It is not enough to donate something now and then and to build a kindergarten, but otherwise to look primarily at one’s own profit. It is about pursuing a social benefit at the core of the activities.

Does Corporate Social Value really bring something to your company?

Oh yes! Let’s take the example of Tesla. There are hundreds of YouTube channels alone that report only or almost only about Tesla. Tesla doesn’t spend a dime on traditional advertising. The other manufacturers have to invest billions and billions in advertising and still lose out.

And have you ever heard of a car manufacturer’s customers volunteering to help deliver cars and explain them to new customers for free? And which other car manufacturer is growing despite the crisis? Which one has such a large fan base among young people in particular? These are robust benefits in the customer relationship.

But their mission also brings financial benefits. The margins and the share price bear witness to this. And don’t say Tesla isn’t an example of the middle market. Tesla was still a startup with a handful of employees in 2003.

AVA is busier than ever in this crisis, a time of mass startup death. Simply because they are important for the safety of people and thus for many large companies and their employees.

Speaking in very basic terms: The more socially useful a company actually is, and is also perceived to be, the more

  • stronger it is loved by its customers and rewarded with loyalty
  • Employees find their work more meaningful and are correspondingly committed and loyal
  • less the company is opposed, fought and sued
  • rather and more the company is supported in an emergency.

Can you retroactively build social into the strategy for your existing business?

When you start a business, of course you have all the freedom. But can you retroactively build social into the strategy for your existing business? Of course.
WeightWatchers has recently moved away from just counting calories and wants to support health-promoting habits in real life. Lego has always been socially useful. The reputation was tarnished by overly technical products and, above all, by little regard for where the raw materials came from and how they were processed. Today, Lego ranks #1 on RepTrak’s list of companies with the best reputation worldwide.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, and you are right. Many companies claim to do only good. And often do the opposite, increasing returns with little consideration. As always in life: don’t look at what someone says, but at what they do! And please: do not confuse the few percent of large companies and corporations that are driven by analysts and shareholders to maximum short-term returns. Please look at the more than 90 percent of businesses that are run by real entrepreneurs. Such companies do not survive for long if they behave in a way that is harmful to society. There is too much competition for that and they have too little power politically. Small and medium-sized enterprises and the famous hidden champions in particular are remarkably often committed to a recognizable social benefit.

Make your company a robust one for the future!

Align it so that growth and revenue are the rewards for the societal benefits created. Make that the core element of your mission. Then your company is also future-proof. Oh yes, Purpose is the new idea of the consultants. If you really formulate your mission professionally, Purpose is one of the five elements of your mission.

So how do you find out what social benefits you already offer, can offer and should offer with your company today? In the first step, make yourself aware once again: people only ever buy and pay for emotional effects. See Opportunity Video No. 3.

You are probably familiar with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But what hardly anyone knows is that the 17 Goals are specified one level down in the form of 169 very specific targets. Right here you will find the problems and desires of humanity, society and your customers, which are still waiting for solutions.

Your task:

Download the 17 sustainability goals and the 169 sustainability targets.

Get your team together.

Go through each target individually. All together or in groups. Please take your time. You don’t recognize the opportunities when you fly over them.

Prioritize your list of ideas for your social contributions.

Work out the three highest-rated ideas and decide.

What do you think about this opportunity? Do you have any questions?

Follow these links as well:

► The Future Strategy Program for SMEs

► Free video crash course THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS
► BUSINESS WARGAMING for robust business and future opportunities
► KEYNOTES by Pero Mićić for your employees and customers

Have a bright future!