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  1. Literacy is a theoretical concept that was first formulated with respect to print culture, particularly the ability to read. Having now studied the different competencies required for “literacy” across a variety of technologies, this topic offers an opportunity for you to summarize your learning and add to it through further research. Choose two or three technologies to compare or contrast. What has changed from the medium of print? What has stayed the same? What do we think we know? What questions remain unanswered?

Communication Specifically, what made his messages so resonant was that he “walked the talk.” Which is to say that he put action behind his words. Here’s what Polman had to say in a 2015 Washington Post interview, which you’ll find in Blackboard: “The issues we are trying to attack with our business model and that need to be solved in the world today—food security, sanitation, employment, climate change—cannot be solved just by quarterly reporting. They require longer-term solutions and not 90-day pressures. I saw a recent study that 75 percent of U.S. chief financial officers would take the wrong decision in the quarter over missing their guidance. You can see how that leads companies to a shorter existence or to making the wrong decisions. In the latest survey of the World Economic Forum, a majority of CEOs said the pressure they’re getting from the board is more about the short term than the long term. So the challenges are there when you do this. The first day I became CEO, I stopped guidance. I figured the first day they hire you, they’re not going to fire you. The share price went down 8 percent, because people thought there must be bad news coming. But I figured if we continued to do the right things for the business, the ultimate valuation would be what it should be. And interestingly, if you don’t give guidance, or quarterly reporting, then also you tend to attract the right shareholder base. You get into a better rhythm to develop the right long-term relationships and the right communication.” VIDEOS I encourage you to stop the lecture at this point and to watch the two videos about Paul Polman that are loaded into this lesson on Blackboard. Just resume this lecture after watching those videos. [Slide 5: CEOs Charlottesville] Page 2 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication This article appeared in Harvard Business review shortly after the 2017 violent events in Charlotttesville, Virginia and then-President Trump’s response to the event, which not only failed to take a stand against the white nationalists but actually blamed both sides for the clash that took one life and shocked most Americans. The authors are Nour Kteily, who researches power hierarchies, and Francesca Gino who studies decision-making including ethical and moral choices. In this article, the authors tackle the issue of leadership responses to unplanned events and social movements. Traditionally, both topics would be firmly out of bounds for any business leader commentary. So the prescriptive advice in this article in many ways groundbreaking. [Slide 6: Audience Segments] The authors segment their guidance by audience segment, which is useful for our conversations. The ramifications of silence are explored across key audience segments: Employees: The cost of staying silent is framed as tarnishing the moral character of a leader. Evokes fears of norm-shifting, erosion of social barriers and erosion of trust — a sense of “am I safe?” Page 3 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication Customers Consumers view leaders more favorably when they participate in issues that matter to them. Think about this less about “having a message” and more about participating in a discussion that matters to others. Next is the calculated decision of expressing a point of view that consumers favor — which will increase sales. [Slide 7: Nike] This certainly proved true with Nike. When they launched the Colin Kapernick “Dream Crazy” campaign, media coverage was instantly negative, and showed videos of people burning their Nike shoes. [Slide 8: Stock Price] The stock price took an immediate tumble in September of 2018, but by the following spring, the stock price soared and has never looked back. [Slide 9 Audience segments] Society Looking at the broader society in which a company earns a license to operate -Americans are interested in and influenced by corporate leaders positions Tim Cook, CEO of Apple expressed concern of discrimination against homosexuals, support for a law in Indiana dropped significantly. Tim lives in California. We’ll look at this issue more closely later in this lecture. Page 4 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication [Slide 10: Guide] So What’s the prescription these authors offered? #1: Tie it to the bottom line: Workplaces and markets are diverse. Walmart CEO reaction “We too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.” He added: “Representing a company with the largest and one of the most diverse groups of associates in the U.S., and an even more diverse customer base…” #2: Be painfully clear The authors refer to a study that showed that 88% of workers felt that internal communications from company leaders routinely lacked clarity. Communications clarity is linked to higher levels of engagement — and it’s extremely important when communicating about sensitive, divisive social issues. #3: Encourage employees to support each other: Leaders should explicitly call for employees to unite and support any marginalized group. This action fosters a culture of inclusion and helps marginalized employees feel safe. The authors of this article claim that it is absolutely appropriate for leaders to take a stand and express their core values. I’m not sure I agree with this blank check. There are a lot of leaders I disagree with. Page 5 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication [Slide 11: The New CEO Activists] The second reading we’ll cover in this lecture is called: “The New CEO Activists: A playbook for polarized political times.” BY AARON K. CHATTERJI AND MICHAEL W. TOFFEL This article was written in January 2018 and once again reflects the changing nature of leadership communication—calling into question what constitutes responsible leadership communication today. The authors start by addressing some of the more controversial laws and policy decisions in recent years that have created a sense of alarm in marginalized communities. Their prescriptive guidance and testimonials from prominent CEOs reflect a dramatic change in the norms for leadership messaging. [Slide 12: quote] “Our jobs as CEOs now include driving what we think is right. It’s not exactly political activism but it is action on issues beyond business.” As recently as 2015, this idea was not considered legitimate. If I had told any business leader that their responsibility included communicating on issues beyond their core business operations and stakeholder concerns, they would’ve rolled their eyes. Page 6 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication [Slide 13: Why speak up] Next, the authors examine the reasons why CEOs speak up. They offer three types of motivations: 1. personal conviction 2. commitment to employee values / employee relationships (company purpose/millennials) 3. stewards of a company mission, this is a responsibility they believe they have inherited and that the current environment requires something distinct from them that their predecessors didn’t have to grapple with. [Slide 14 – CEO Tactics] Immediately, the authors distinguish between traditional reactions and activist behaviors. The traditional actions are akin to burying one’s head in the sand or safely side-stepping an issue For activists, the tactics are: 1. Raising awareness: speaking out to create room for dialog, to encourage others to follow in their footsteps, and to keep issues from languishing in the dark. Their channel of preference is Twitter. They’ve also taken collective action. 2. Leveraging economic power: putting economic pressure on states to overturn laws. The Associated Press estimates that the bathroom law cost the state of North Carolina $3.76 billion in lost revenues in a 12-year period. a. Companies can also finance third party groups / issue-based activists [Slide 15: Effectiveness?] The authors admit that we’re in new territory and the long-term impacts are unknown. Page 7 of 9 AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns Leadership Communication [Slide 16: Under Armor] The article cites a comment made by Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank who referred to President Trump as “a real asset for the country.” This occurred shortly after Trump came into office in 2017, which was on January 20th, so the event might have been in February. Still, the stock never regained its market position. [Slide 17: Risk/Reward] Political implications – know your employee and customer base! [Slide 18: Inaction] The cost of silence— Can cause you to suddenly fall out of step with society’s expectations (– amicus brief about Trump’s stance on immigration issues) [Slid 19: Playbook] What to weigh in on: consider consequences of choosing an issue that’s very popular with only one or two key stakeholders. Remember the case study of Monsanto a

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