Nolan on the road: ICCO - Best practices to next practices

That is the slogan of the ICCO conference this year. Its meaning was explained as thinking ten years down the road to identify what best...

That is the slogan of the ICCO conference this year. Its meaning was explained as thinking ten years down the road to identify what best practices will be then, instead of wallowing in the dreary best practices of today. "Best Practices to Next Practices" was also the title of a presentation today by Yann Risz, COO of the management consultancy firm The Next Practice. Risz is a proponent of "BOP" -- or Bottom of the Pyramid -- engagement by corporations. He discussed how companies can make reaching the four billion people who live on less than $1,500 a year a vital part of their business, rather than something akin to a charity effort.

He also, on the opposite end of the spectrum, said that NGOs should pursue profit-making opportunities that dovetail with their core purpose, rather than unrelated ones that can simply make them a buck. CSR departments, said Risz, are essentially albatrosses created by corporations that are transparent and ultimately ineffective.

"It's a defensive act," he said. "It is an apologetic effort." Instead, he said that companies should find ways to expand their business to the underserved masses, citing examples like the Indian bank ICICI that provides microfinancing loans to rural villagers.

"There is increasing blurriness" between the two traditionally opposed extremes of nonprofits and profit-making companies, he said. Though he acknowledged that communications challenges can arise when a corporation is perceived as letting charity infiltrate its core business, or when an NGO is perceived as selling out to corporate interests, he told the assembled crowd of PR pros that that's where they come in. Get to work.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in