It is time for corporate America to become 'the third pillar' of social change in our society, complementing the first two pillars of government and philanthropy. We need the entire private sector to begin committing itself not just to making profits, but to fulfilling higher and larger purposes by contributing to building a better world.
When thinking through who to bring together to generate new ideas, it is more effective to combine specialists from very different and unrelated disciplines rather than a variety of people with different skills sets in the same field.
Brands must empower their community to be change agents in their own right. To that end, they need to take on a mentoring role. This means the brand provides the tools, techniques and strategies for their customers to become more effective marketers in achieving their own goals.
Everyone living under the social contract we call democracy has a duty to act responsibly, to obey the laws, and to abandon certain types of self-interested behaviors that conflict with the general good.
The creative destruction that social media is currently unleashing will change more than technology or the leader board of the Fortune 100. It is driving a qualitative shift in the nature of relationships between brands and their customers.
The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action.
Consumers now have a voice. And the fact that consumers can be creators, producers and distributors means they can push back against brands to punish them for their socially irresponsible behavior or reward them for their responsible behavior.