By: Karyn Polak – Impact Entrepreneur correspondent and GAIL North America Regional Member

February 13, 2024

This article by Impact Entrepreneur discusses the limitations of “two-pocket thinking,” in business and the importance of ethical leadership and advocates for a holistic perspective that prioritises integrity and accountability. It also suggests that businesses should embrace a more integrated approach, aligning their actions with their values across all aspects of their work.

It also explores the following topics:

  • Ethical principles in impact law and finance
  • Corporate Social Responsibility/ ESG in Business
  • Advocacy for integrating personal and professional ethics within impact law and finance
  • Examples demonstrating the consequences of ethical misalignment in impact-oriented practices
  • Emphasis on the need for ethical leadership and accountability in impact law and finance arenas

Two-Pocket Thinking Is Dead (or It Should Be)

I’ve spent my career working to break down silos between functions, business units, sectors, geographies, and more. One of the more persistent disconnects that many institutions still carry is the view that “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) is something separate from the operating business of the company. For years, companies issued a CSR report that was completely separate from their annual reports. Even in the most mature companies in the most mature industries – my personal experience is with multinational financial institutions – the work to compile data and stories from across the company’s operations for use in the CSR report was highly manual, lacking in precision, and most certainly an afterthought rather than a cohesive part of the company’s business. Thankfully, more companies have moved to an integrated annual report, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the company’s social impact is integrated into its operating mindset.

– Karyn Polak, Impact Entrepreneur