Aligned with its deep purpose, and fully recognizing how all of its resources and competencies create social value, a virtuous organization goes beyond just embedding the intention to do good into the fabric of the organization. A virtuous organization realizes that it can move the needle on solving social problems, creating value and having a meaningful impact.
In order to become a virtuous organization, you must treat corporate responsibility efforts as an integral part of your operations, rather than as an appendage to your other work. To do this, you choose an issue or cause that requires the unique skills, brand, or resources you can offer and then strategically incorporate that work into the organization. By doing so, you avoid the significant pitfalls of corporate responsibility efforts that end up labeled as a marketing or PR scheme, or that washout when the enthusiasm of a key individual wanes or departs the organization.
Central to all virtuous organizations is the practice of strategic alignment. This alignment to the mission happens in all facets of the organization, but happens in reverse when an organization mobilizes to address a specific social cause. In addition to aligning all aspects of an organization to the mission, the organization strategically selects a cause that aligns with its organizational strengths. This strategic alignment throughout an organization increases its integrity and power for work that produces far reaching social impact.