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How important are morals in business?

How important are morals in business?

I don't actually think they are two different things, or disconnected. If we learned one thing from the financial collapse of 2008, it was that the pursuit of profit purely for profit's sake leads to a very bad place. That economic meltdown took business in a more socially responsible direction. Smart CEOs now understand that morally good decisions are invariably financially good ones too. This is being driven in large part by Millennials – we see these young leaders coming through One Young World and they are much better informed than any preceding generation, much more socially responsible and they will use social media to punish companies that don't live up to their expectations.

David Jones is the former CEO of Havas, founder of the world's first brandtech group You & Mr Jones and cofounder of One Young World.
David Jones is the former CEO of Havas, founder of the world's first brandtech group You & Mr Jones and cofounder of One Young World.

Equally, the most socially responsible companies benefit from social media as they gather positive advocates who spread the word about their brand or business. The best business leaders, such as Unilever's CEO Paul Polman, who has put social responsibility at the core of their business strategy, know the importance of socially responsible business – Unilever's Sustainable Living brands grew over 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of Unilever's growth in 2016. Financial success walks hand in hand with social responsibility. They are not mutually exclusive options. Doing good is good for business. Social media has taken corporate social responsibility out of the silo and put it in the profit and loss account.

This article appears in our Think:Act magazine: "We need to talk about complexity".

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  • Photos Jasmina007 / iStockphoto; PR ONEYOUNGWORLD, Sources BBC; Hero Images / Getty Images; Mrzyk & Moriceau; Illustrations by Martin Burgdorff; Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images