KC Sullivan, President CNBC, from his afterword to "Influence Relevance and Growth for a Changing World. How to Survive & Thrive with IRGT Beyond ESG"
"At CNBC our reporting and executive interviews provide us with a prime view of how corporations are operating in the dynamic and changing global environment. Not too long ago publicly traded companies focused on their balance sheet, share price, and regulatory policy, but today companies find the need to address many public concerns, as well.
Author Fernando Napolitano observes that there is an erosion of trust in many of our pillars of influence including governments and news media around the world. He points out that the polarization of political systems has impacted the ability of governments to effectively address issues important to life in democracies; and how societal polarization is impacting news media’s ability to deliver the facts when facts themselves are constantly in question.
As a result, a vacuum around both policy making and arbiters of trusted information has emerged. The public, customers and employees are more conscious of and demanding of the role a corporation and its CEO play in society. Thus, corporate leaders are finding it necessary to think of different stakeholders in addition to their consumers, investors, and their workforce and to provide a sense of stability and predictability, allowing business to flourish.
And as the role of the corporation in society has increased, the public contemplation and addressing of social issues has become an expected duty of today’s CEOs.
The problem that follows this increased involvement in social issues, is that many of the stances taken are often not tied to a company’s focus, and thus, increasingly putting corporations in the cross hairs of public opinion and politicians, which can undermine its mission and often hampering the business itself.
Mr. Napolitano makes a strong case for a data led process that assesses a company’s effectiveness. Mr. Napolitano has established the Influence Relevance and Growth (IRG) system, a solution-oriented approach worthwhile pursuing for global leaders trying to navigate these exact challenges. For the news media, IRG might provide an interesting platform for discussion by shareholders, politicians, consumers and employees around the involvement of corporations in society.
The IRG proposes an innovative, data led methodology that aims to be politically neutral, and fact based, which can be particularly helpful as the role of the CEO has been politically charged by all sides. Grounding an assessment of a company’s efforts in data allows for a fairer and more unbiased look of a company’s effectiveness.
By taking a holistic view and approach that embraces the modern societal environment, the IRG methodology is a tool that today’s corporate leaders could certainly use to help balance business value with good corporate citizenship".