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Selling to Obtain Senior Leadership Support on Social Responsibility

ISM's 90th Annual International Supply Management Conference

San Antonio, Texas
May 2005


Roberta J. Duffy

Kevin J. Williams, C.P.M.
Director, Global Technology Solutions
American Express Corporate Services

In support of ISM's Principles of Social Responsibility, the session was offered to help supply managers bring corporate social responsibility programs to the attention of senior management in their organizations. Kevin Williams began by explaining that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to gathering the necessary information; leading-edge companies Web sites and ISM's Social Responsibility site ( provide a wealth of information. He then went on to explain that there must be goals in place to measure a program's effectiveness. "If people aren't measured on CSR, they aren't motivated to get on board," said Williams, who suggested linking social responsibility solutions to business goals.

He then detailed the elements necessary to build a successful CSR program, from planning to execution. This includes selecting the top Principle to address, establishing communication, evaluating benchmark performers, selecting success measurements from benchmark performer, establishing goals and objectives, developing an action plan, obtaining executive sponsorship to execute plan, taking actions as described in the plan, developing a scorecard to measure actual versus the goal, assessing gaps, taking action to increase compliance, verifying that no remaining gaps exist and then returning to the assessment phase to select another Principle. Williams concluded with a list of the six principles of influence to help people buy into your CSR philosophy: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consensus, consistency and commitment, and friendship.

By Roberta J. Duffy, editor of Inside Supply Management®

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