Are you responsible at work?

This morning it was corporate social responsibility at a Social Market Foundation breakfast meeting. I’ve put up on my website the full length version of the speech, which I slimmed down to fit the time today.

My take on the issues around how companies should behave, whether corporate social responsibility drives are welcome or cynical window-dressing, and so on, starts with the individual:

I want to look at the issue from a different angle. Because companies are made up of individual people. Those decisions – they aren’t being made by companies, they are being made by individuals in the companies.

The real questions are about how should humans behave – and what responsibilities do they bear to others, whether it is at home, at work, somewhere in between or somewhere completely different?

My starting point is that I don’t believe that those responsibilities suddenly cease when you walk through a doorway and enter your company. You can no more excuse immoral behaviour by saying “but I was only at work” than you can by saying “but I was only following orders”. Individual responsibilities stick with you always.

Click here to read the full speech on my website.