• Alistair Nicholas

On giving back and staying grounded: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs critical

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

In September 2018 I was privileged to deliver the Occasional Address to that year’s Business School graduands of Macquarie University. I spoke to them about the importance of giving back to society – something that I believe is essential for every individual. It is also something that I believe every individual should take into their professional careers and encourage their employers to also adopt.

While many companies already give back to society through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, more can and should be done. There is, as I pointed out in my address, no lack of social causes, of charities and other organisations, that could benefit from the assistance that individuals and organisations can provide in terms of abilities (not just money).

I also spoke to the graduands about the importance of staying grounded. I said that no matter how high they fly in their careers it was important that they remained approachable and open to criticism lest they lose touch with reality. (If you ask me, the type of “party culture” that had developed at McDonalds’ corporate headquarters in the US, and that is now being addressed by the new global CEO Chris Kempczinski, was due, at least in part, to senior management that was not grounded, and not approachable or open to criticism; but that is probably a blog post for another time.)

Rather than give you a detailed account of my address, you can watch it below. I was introduced and thanked by Macquarie University’s Vice Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton.

It being just over a year since my address, I trust those graduands who were conferred their degrees in September 2018 are making great strides in their professional lives and finding great satisfaction from giving back in whatever ways they can.

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