On September 23, 2020, I hosted our second Red Badger's Mission Beyond event Opening the doors: Reducing inequalities. We were joined by a legend in the field of leadership, innovation and strategy - the hugely inspiring Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, an author of Think Outside The Building and co-founder of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. We were also joined by Barry Matthews, another inspiring leader for social change, the co-founder of the Employers Social Mobility Alliance (ESMA) and SVP of General Counsel at Meggitt, an FTSE 250 aero defence company, Barry Murphy, also a co-founder of the ESMA and senior partner at PwC, Sam Taylor, technical director at Red Badger and Muhammad Gangat, alumni from the Social Mobility Business Partnership.
The theme of this event was anchored in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 10 - to reduce inequalities. Through the Mission Beyond platform, Red Badger joined forces with the ESMA. Their mission is to create a shared understanding of what the challenge of social mobility is, and what employers, educators, policymakers and the public can do to address it.
If you have approx 90min, you can watch the full recording of the event 👇
If you have 5 min, here are our four key highlights from the event and some practical steps you can take to have a social impact.
Social impact takes Advanced Leadership Skills and Thinking Outside the Building
Professor Kanter’s talk was illuminating, motivating, supercharging and action inducing. She talked about the need to get past ‘fine whines’ - the irritation and impatience that seems to dominate many conversations, whether offline or online. The ‘whines’ mainly concentrate on how hard social and environmental problems are and the lack of bold and creative leadership required to address them.
She also talked about the need for cross-sector, multi-stakeholder coalitions and the need to think outside the building. She introduced us to Kanter’s law which reminds us that ‘Everything can seem a failure in the middle’. Finally, she talked about how activism generates optimism. Professor’s Kanter’s book Think Outside The Building is a must-read practical playbook for anyone wanting to make a positive societal change.
You can do good while doing your day job
Barry Matthews and Barry Murphy, co-founders of the ESMA are wonderful examples of Advanced Leadership in practice that results in real impact. Driven by the passion that lies in personal experience, they started investigating the social mobility problem space. They quickly realised that social mobility is complex and difficult to define. Not having a shared understanding makes it harder to take action and make a real difference. Hence they co-founded the Employers Social Mobility Alliance to aim to create that missing shared understanding and to become the go-to platform for social mobility related insights for a large group of stakeholders.
Product thinking and tech can accelerate change
Red Badger joined the ESMA as their product and technology partner. A cross-functional team worked together with subject matter experts from ESMA to create a digital platform which provides employers with access to vast amounts of social mobility research in an intuitive and accessible way. This proof-of-concept is the start and there is more work to be done. Sam Taylor, Tech Director at Red Badger, has joined ESMA as the CTO and in this role, he has a vital role in scaling the effort. If you would like to get involved with the Employers Social Mobility Alliance, please email Barry Murphy at email@example.com.
You and your organisation can make change happen too
We started Mission Beyond in the belief that businesses can be a force for good. We're breaking down cross-sectoral silos and creating coalitions of business leaders to address the world's must-do list.
If you want to learn more about Mission Beyond, please take a look at the website and sign up for the newsletter. You can also drop me a note if you want to get involved with the initiative, join an existing coalition, or start a new one.