A Big Audacious Meaning is not your Corporate Social Responsibility program

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book “Big Audacious Meaning - Unleashing Your Purpose Driven Story

I had a friend ask me, “So is a Big Audacious Meaning like when the cable company gets its employees to go out and volunteer to rehab a playground?”

My answer was pretty blunt. “No.”

I’m going to be black and white on this issue because there is something very important to understand about a Big Audacious Meaning. It is not your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. It is not your charitable giving program. It is not corporate volunteering.


What makes a Big Audacious Meaning different?

Here is the critical point. Those CSR programs and efforts are all about the organization giving (selflessly) to society. The organization expects nothing in return. Oh you can argue that they generate goodwill and that goodwill comes back to the organization down the road. This is true. It’s just vague. And as such, hard to measure. A Big Audacious Meaning introduces a different dynamic. It puts forth the idea that we can serve society while financially bettering our organization. So we can turn around and help everyone prosper even more while we prosper. That creates a virtuous circle (I refuse to call it a “win-win” - you’re welcome). That’s what a Big Audacious Meaning does. It brings together meaning and money.

Does that mean we should abandon those CSR programs?

Absolutely not. Those are all good and noble things. And every company should keep doing them. In fact, our Big Audacious Meaning should guide those efforts. If there is a disconnect, we ought to seriously reconsider that charitable effort. Seriously. If we're giving money to the Society For The Preservation Of Society Preservationists we should be able to look to our Big Audacious Meaning and decide if we should really be funding the group. Then we should look for opportunities to connect with organizations and causes that line up with why we do what we do.