Companies Must Go Beyond Random Acts Of Humanitarianism

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly struck a note of optimism on this website earlier this year, crediting a number of companies for moving early to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and calling on others to “lead with purpose and humanity.” The compassionate response of the business community was indeed impressive at a critical moment of crisis. But, as time has passed, people are calling for more than just random acts of humanitarianism. They want a sustained, thoughtful, and authentic response on the part of business, one that can deliver broader, long-term impact. Many purpose-driven companies, from Best Buy to Facebook, have opted to provide outright grants for humanitarian efforts or have repurposed their manufacturing lines to produce needed health supplies, like hand sanitizer and ventilators. These measures are laudably altruistic, and they undoubtedly benefit communities, customers, and other stakeholders. They also, we should note, carry important reputational and motivational benefits, helping companies cultivate loyal customers and highly motivated employees. Read more at Harvard Business Review.