At April 1st and 2nd, I’ll be teaching classes in Rennes. As part of the module: Corporate sustainability reporting. It is really helpful that I can use all the material and preparations of my colleague who went last year.
The students will have to hand in an assignment at the end. Evaluating a company’s annual sustainability report using GRI and ISO standards/integrated reporting. The company will be assigned by the teaching staff.
The first question on the assignment is:
- Give a short introduction of your company. Include an assessment on: Is the why of the company creating Shared Value trustworthy
This means I’ll:
- Introduce Why from Simon Sinek
- Go back to het Shared value concept the guest speaker introduced and connect it to the global goals.
- Introduce the concept of trustworthy.
I choose this approach inspired by a Dutch working document on educating the “sustainable financial” (pg 27). They suggest the student needs to learn on sustainability on the three livels, why, what, how. It proposes as a learning goal (why): the student is aware of the global problems and knows where het human (collective) barriers and opportunities lie to solve them through the company where the student will be working.
Find the why of the company (20 min)
We will watch the video of Sinek on the Golden Circle.
Question in class: Where do you find the why of a company?
Subquestion in the assessment: Provide general information on the company and on its Why.
Does it create shared value. (10 min)
In one of the classes before me, a guest speaker used this slide.
We will watch this video on the UN sustainable development goals.
Question while watching. Which goal is the most important to you.
Is it trustworthy? (15 min)
Companies know that these goals are appealing to us. They spent a lot of time formulating their mission statement. Is it authentic or is it windowdressing. Some help to determine that.
The quotes I find helpful in the talk:
The claim -> Trust is placed is a differentiated way.
“Do you trust greengrocers? Do you trust fishmongers? Do you trust elementary school teachers?” you would probably begin by saying, “To do what?” And that would be a perfectly sensible response. And you might say, when you understood the answer to that, “Well, I trust some of them, but not others.
We don’t make an assumption that the level of trust that we will have in every instance of a certain type of official or office-holder or type of person is going to be uniform.
The aim -> I would aim to have more trust in the trustworthy but not in the untrustworthy. In fact, I aim positively to try not to trust the untrustworthy.
And I think that judgment requires us to look at three things. Are they competent? Are they honest? Are they reliable?
The task -> You have to give them the basis for giving you their trust.
If you make yourself vulnerable to the other party, then that is very good evidence that you are trustworthy and you have confidence in what you are saying.
So the moral of all this is, we need to think much less about trust, let alone about attitudes of trustdetected or mis-detected by opinion polls, much more about being trustworthy, and how you give people adequate, useful and simple evidence that you’re trustworthy.
Subquestion in the assessment: Assess the trustworthiness of the why of the company. Are they giving adequate, useful and simple evidence that they’re trustworthy in pursuing their why.
Time to go to work (45 min)
The students are going to prepare the first slides of their presentation. They will need some time to get organized as a team, read and understand the full assignment and to get to know the company they are going to evaluate. That is why thy get 45 minutes. I’ll want to be able to judge sources.
Finishing up this part ( 15 min)
3 groups of students present their slides. I’ll provide feedback.
What to take with me: