It's now big business to think about the societal impact of your money (suit and tie optional).
 

Larry Fink is the CEO of BlackRock, the largest asset management firm in the world with over $5 trillion under its control.

Fink recently made major headlines (New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes) for the letter he wrote and distributed to CEOs of public companies.

In his letter, he stated that for companies to prosper over time, they must “not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

You don’t have to be in charge of trillions of dollars to consider what this can mean for you.

Here are two ideas you can take from Fink's playbook:

Play #1: Leverage the fact that you have choices in how and where you bank your money. 

Just like Larry Fink is demanding social accountability and transparency from the companies BlackRock invests in, the American public can demand social accountability and transparency from the businesses they give their money to.

Fink wrote that “society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges.”

Individuals and organizations can take a lead in financing a sustainable future that’s good for themselves while being good for the ecosystems within which they seek to thrive by making intentional decisions about how they spend, invest and bank their money.

Play #2: Ask tough questions.

Setting ideals about business delivering financial and social performance may sound abstract.   The next step is getting specific about issues impacting communities and using data to advance your understanding about these issues. Fink posed several question for companies that you can also ask of yourself:

What role do I play in the community?

How is my money supporting or undermining my role in the community?

Am I information-driven in how I bank my money, or am I putting off getting informed because I don’t know how to take action?

You can choose to take the initiative to investigate the impact of how your money is serving or undermining your role in your community.

The growing conversation about businesses delivering financial and social value need not be dominated by billionaire CEOs.

Unless you choose to continue to sit on the sidelines while your money is in play.

 

 
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