Very few people are willing to admit they have ever watched the TV franchise The Bachelor / Bachelorette, but it remains one of the most popular shows on cable. The premise is that one person (male or female, depending on the show), is surrounded by a pool of eligible romantic partners whom they try to get to know better. At the end of each episode, people who are still in the running get a rose. Those who are eliminated as prospects pack their bags and leave. The luckiest person of all—the “winner”– gets the final rose of the season. Because it’s for television, the whole selection process is based on somewhat superficial perceptions and hearsay. Perceptions are a tricky thing. In the corporate world they can be just as tricky as on The Bachelor. And perceptions can be enhanced by responsive corporate social responsibility.
Besides our efforts to make socially responsible investments, The InnerChange Foundation enables companies to demonstrate their connection to community, and to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility. While profit is critical, profit is also influenced by perception. Smart businesses know that people are more inclined to have positive associations with an organization that supports the community in ways that matter to that community. On The Bachelor/Bachelorette, some of the most quickly eliminated contestants focus on highlighting their own assets while failing to consider the hopes, dreams and fears of the deciding person s/he was trying to impress. In contrast, the contestants with staying power truly got to know that individual.
With Vancouver a port city, and British Columbia a gateway to the rest of Canada, our local communities have been particularly impacted by the proliferation of new and even more dangerous opioid street drugs like fentanyl and others. British Columbia communities care very deeply about the damage that is caused when people fall into the world of addictions and can’t seem to pull themselves out. They also care about the related impacts of street crime, such as petty theft, violence, and sexual exploitation of vulnerable people.
The InnerChange Foundation knows how important these issues are to our communities – and to the companies who have channelled their social investments through us. Together we have had a history of investing in new approaches to expand the range of solutions people and communities can bring to bear on the complex problem of addiction. These have included a new prescription-based treatment for people with chronic, long-standing opioid addictions, enabling them to gain more personal stability and re-build their lives (to see a ten minute film on this project click here). They have also included partnering on an early intervention and treatment approach, the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BCIYSI) – for a fact sheet on how this will specifically help prevent and intervene early in addictions faced by our province’s youth, click this link: here.
Smart business people care about the communities where they operate –and the things those communities care about. The more those businesses can prove to communities that they are in touch with their concerns and able to respond, the more likely they will be top of mind with those communities. The InnerChange Foundation can help businesses with this process. Contact us to find out options for working together –for responding to concerns that are top of mind for British Columbians. In the process, you too might get that coveted rose. Please feel free to e-mail me directly at laura (at)innerchangefoundation (dot) org.