The second wave
If there was a word to describe the pre-retail carnage of the last 14 days, it would have to be "consolidation."
The effect of viral M&A has literally changed the landscape of our little outdoor world. Brands have clustered. Big booths have grown bigger. Knock-offs have bred knock-offs. But perhaps the single biggest effect has been the homogenization of our messaging.
Eco-conscious manufacturing is the right thing to do, and it's the timely thing to do. But isn't it also the thing we should be doing anyway? If the greening of corporate America can be the cover story of the Economist (Jan. 27, 2007, circulation 1.2 million), don't you think that a few other folks around town might also be on to this? Is it really the lead story of the entire industry?
I don't think it is.
What excites me is the prospect of the second wave. Clearly, some fundamental business choices are an essential part of our conversion to the church of sustainability, and those changes will have to be made over the next few years. Just as clearly, however, I think we all know somewhere-not-so-deep-inside-us that we can all do more.
Corporate social responsibility is just that ... a responsibility. It's a duty that all of us share in a modern, democratic society.
The next wave is social purpose enterprise. And it's coming.