When I was head of strategic planning at BMW South Africa in the 1990s, we had a soul-searching discussion at board level about what was then our Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. At that stage, the perception of staff was that we were just doing it from the point of view of moral obligation and public relations.
But what we were actually doing was making an investment in the communities from which our work force was drawn, in an effort to improve their lives and by so, doing improving our productivity and staff retention.
It was then that I changed the name of the process from 'corporate social responsibility' to 'corporate social investment'. Because that is what it was and what it all should be today.
And while there is nothing wrong with publicising CSI programmes, a lot of companies quite rightly feel that blowing one's own trumpet is a tricky business that can backfire.
So clearly, in choosing a CSI project, the objective should not only be to promote a worthy cause but to promote a cause that generates its own publicity. After all, there is no greater publicity than third-party endorsement.
When I had a look recently at what I could do in my small way in terms of CSI, I looked for an urgent need in South Africa and top of the list was the promotion of maths and science to our youngsters.
Everyone knows that the level of maths and science in our schools is dreadfully low and it occurred to me that it was vital to come up with something to get kids excited about maths particularly and not just to keep regarding it as a painfully boring subject.
So, I got on the following idea. Have a look at this video link, where I explain how I believe we should get kids excited about maths.
And if you are looking for a CSI project that is meaningful and will generate a massive amount of publicity for its sponsors, give me a call. I'm looking for a major sponsor or co-sponsors. http://www.chrismoerdyk.com/maths-science-proposal