The one sentence summary

Corporate social responsibility and social media are intrinsically linked, and the most successful leaders are the most socially responsible.


  • The true cost of the pursuit of profit for profit’s sake is too high. Reality is more important than image. Transparency, authenticity and speed are the rules of modern business. Social responsibility needs to be at the core of business strategy, not in a silo.
  • Big is good – you can’t share a loss in order to do good.
  • The new consumer wants profit with a purpose: you must do well and do good. This is where two questions meet:

1. What is a genuine and credible role for the company or brand?

2. What are the real issues consumers care about?

  • Social media is here to stay – leaders can’t opt out.
  • There is no longer such a thing as ‘off the record.’
  • It is easy to criticise big brands for attempting to do good because there is something ‘in it’ for the brand. But who cares what the motivation is, or whether there might be some benefit to the brand, if the end result is good and creates positive change in the world?
  • There is a new focus on conscientious consumption.
  • The future lies in Social Business Ideas. These:
    • Lie at the intersection of social responsibility and social media.
    • Allow social responsibility to sit at the heart of the business strategy, not in a silo.
    • Can be a rallying cry for the whole company.
    • Embrace all stakeholders inside and outside the organisation.
    • Are based on transparency and authenticity.
    • Position the company to deliver long-term sustainable profit growth.
    • Align the goals of doing well and doing good.


  • Be bi-lingual: speak the language of profit and non-profit.
  • Employalty: where staff loyalty to companies is driven less and less by financial incentives  and more by shared values and pride in the social contribution the company is making.
  • “We will not be measured by our aspirations. We will be measured by our actions.” Lee Scott, CEO Walmart


  • This book was first published in 2012, so much has happened since.
  • On the one hand the book is remarkably prescient. On the other hand it is depressing how little progress has been made by companies in this area.
  • Some of the companies cited as socially excellent have since been discredited or found out.