Implement Your CSR Program Like a World Series Contender!
We welcome our friend Bill Egan, the Senior Manager of Community Affairs Engagement at United Airlines, to share insights on how to smoothly and efficiently implement a new corporate social responsibility program. Enjoy!
As a fan of a certain baseball team that hasn’t won a world series in over 100 years… I constantly remind myself that all the pieces need to come together at the right time, in the right way to win that ring. Consistent starting pitchers, fielders who make the big play, relievers who shut ‘em down late in the game, and clutch hitters are all combined to create a winning team. If just one aspect of your game is off, your team is golfing in October rather than playing ball.
To pass the time at work during this epic baseball season, I managed our company’s implementation with the YourCause Corporate Social Responsibility platform. Amazingly, I found the implementation to be much like a World Series run. I had to make sure all things came together smoothly to ensure our success. Here are four points to consider in your implementation.
Get Yourself a Fanbase
Player interviews after a team wins the World Series usually include quotes like, “We couldn’t have done it without our fans.” Or, “We have the best fans in the world.”
With your implementation, be sure to get buy-in across the organization. You want leadership in human resources, legal, payroll, and Information Technology to be onboard with the project in advance. These “fans” will help you get the resources you need from their respective departments if they understand the project, its goal, and the implementation timeline.
Have a Game Plan
Great teams win more often than not because they have a strategy for how they can beat their competitor. Maybe the other team can’t hit curve balls, or the opposing left fielder has a bad ankle and can’t chase down fly balls. Good managers take advantage of those weaknesses by adjusting their game plan.
Similarly, aligning your CSR strategy with the company strategy will help get eveyone on the same page. As the person overseeing the project, be sure to document the processes, tasks, and follow-up items in a simple, easy to follow implementation plan. Assign tasks out to others on your team and keep them accountable to deadlines so you can win the implementation game. Repeat, create your own personal game plan. Don’t follow somebody else’s.
Adjust Your Lineup Based on the Situation
Great baseball managers are known for creating and adjusting their line-up during the course of the game to make sure they have the best players on the field, given the current situation of the game.
As the manager of your project team, it’s important to adjust your project plan on the fly. Things don’t always go as anticipated. Rather than freaking out, look at your lineup and see what needs to be done to get the project back on task. Do you need other people to step in and help? Are the timelines too aggressive? Maybe you don’t have the right people on certain tasks. It’s important to stay on top of your line-up and help those who are helping you be successful in what they are doing.
Most Importantly, Trust Your Gut
When the game is on the line, baseball managers have to trust their gut when it comes to key decisions. Should we go for the hit and run, steal a base, or lay down the suicide squeeze. At the end of the day, your gut has to tell you if it’s the right call.
Similarly, if something seems wrong with your implementation or if you think something may cause a ruckus internally, it probably will. Get ahead of potential problems with your implementation by sniffing out potential issues and heading them off at the pass.
I know this seems like simple advice, but it’s meant to be. The bottom line is that your implementation will shine if you take the time to:
- rally support internally
- create and manage your implementation plan
- make adjustments on the fly
- and have faith in your ability to make judgment calls
If you can do all these things, you’ve got a chance at that World Series ring in the form of an awesome implementation.