According to a recent research (in Finnish) by FIBS, the Finnish corporate responsibility network, 90 % of the Finnish companies expect the weight of responsibility issues to grow in the coming five years. Two thirds of them think it will grow to some extent while 22 % expect a significant growth.

However, resources that companies plan to allocate to the responsibility work do not seem to match with the significance of the topic. Only seven percent of the companies plan to increase their resources significantly while one third will keep them on the same level as today.

In the seminar where the results were published and discussed, both the representatives of FIBS and the commentators considered the lack of resources “an alarming result”. How could you expect to fulfil stakeholder expectations or integrate CSR issues into the company’s core business strategy without putting muscles to the work?

According to FIBS, the lack of resources does not refer only to the lack of money but to the lack of competence and knowledge. There are still many companies who do not have a single person whose job – or at list part of his/her job description – included responsibility issues. However, corporate responsibility – whether strategic management or operational work – cannot be handled on an ad hoc basis; in addition to other duties. Not if you intend to get the job well done.

There is a practical and economically clever solution to this dilemma: lease a CSR professional!

S/he could be your part-time responsibility manager for a shorter or longer time period: help you define the strategic approach for your company and get the ball rolling, or take care of certain specific projects as a member of your company’s team. I believe it would be more cost-effective to lease a person than to buy separate consultancy services now and then; services that might not even be integrated with each other.

Yet, I would not recommend to outsource responsibility work permanently. Moreover, when working for your company, the temporary advisor would still need your management team to give time and thinking to CSR issues, and teammates to work with.

Does this sound like an attractive idea? If yes, then, call me!