Global Responsibility! Today, it feels like such a familiar phrase, and yet if you had ‘Googled’ it just five short years ago when the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) was founded, you would have come up with very few, if any search hits.
It is commonly understood that the highest order of good citizenship, corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility is to be globally responsible. The fact that it has become part of the lexicon of the business world is a consequence, to a large part, of the work of GRLI and its partners. That in itself, is a remarkable achievement for an avant-garde partnership which began with 21 businesses and business schools/learning organisation from around the world and in just over five years it has grown to sixty plus organisations.
But it is just a small part of our ambition as we continue our work to answer the question: What do we have to do, to create a new generation of globally responsible business leaders?
In this edition of the GRLI Partner Magazine, we invite our readers to explore some of the landscape into which the GRLI is making inroads. The articles are written by GRLI partners and are an eloquent expression of the fact that becoming a GRLI partner is not about joining a comfortable club; it involves a commitment to engage and to take action on developing a next generation of responsible leaders.
This edition brings news of the establishment of a local Community of Responsible Action (CoRA) in Bordeaux, France. This was the highlight of the 8th GRLI General Assembly held in the city in October 2009. Bernard Sioneneau’s article reports on this and the rest of the General Assembly that was hosted by BEM Bordeaux Management School and Caisse d’Epargne Aquitaine-Nord Poitou-Charantes. Travelling to the other side of the world, Michael Powell from Griffith Business School in Brisbane, Australia shares their experience and challenges in embedding sustainability throughout their school.
Eric Cornuel, Director General and CEO of EFMD reflects on the numerous challenges confronting business education. He does so with the clarity of understanding the need for change that inspired EFMD to cofound the GRLI in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in 2004.
Over the past five years we have often noticed that some of the most exciting work emerges from lesser-known GRLI partners. We have also seen that the development of Globally Responsible Leaders is as much about how learning takes place as what is learnt. Bryce Taylor’s work on ‘Whole Person Learning’ is no exception. His article provides a taste of this approach, which addresses the complex and multi-dimensional nature of achieving deep culture change.
In another thought leadership contribution, Birgit Kleymann from IESEG School of Management, Lille, France explores the concept of ‘Issue Sponsors’ and the role of leaders to frame things so that people can act in accordance with the ideals of an organisation.
Jonathan Smith and John Rayment, from Ashcroft International Business School in the UK, provide a work-in-progress report on their research into the thoughts and actions of business school leaders around the education of a next generation of globally responsible leaders.