light, idea, electricity, light bulbs, public, glass, electronicI am working on a ‘big idea’… and wondering what to call it. Is crowd-CSR aleady a thing? Maybe that’s what it is… Or open-CSR?? That sounds sort of fintech-ish, right? Something where organisations can access and contribute to each other’s community work and make connections that increase the impact for a charitable cause? Or maybe when lots of organisations in a sector collaborate for good causes, then Corporate Social Responsibility becomes Industry Social Responsibility – ISR??

Here’s the thing that’s consuming me. I continue to be obsessed with #collaboration – the way the word is bandied around as critical when it comes to sustainable banking sector growth; and the way a lot of the time, for various reasons (time, cost, tech compatibility, competition, culture, etc), the opportunities for collaboration between organisations are actually quite limited.

And yet, there’s this bee in my bonnet… ‘banking industry collaboration in support of good causes’, it buzzes. LOUDLY. That’s by nature sustainable.

I’ve noticed that many organisations and individuals within the banking sector are taking on the Mental Health cause, each separately raising awareness and funds for a number of different charities that cover the various aspects of this issue.

I am also aware that the more noise that can be made about an issue, the more people that stand up and take notice, the better the outcome for the causes involved. In fact, the better the outcome for the supporters of the cause too – more staff engagement, a greater sense of achievement, more brand kudos – whatever it is that motivates you.

So, what if I were to find as many banking sector organisations and individuals* that are supporting Mental Health one way or another via the various mental health charities, and see if we can pull off some sort of collaborative initiative where the resulting CSR-win is somehow greater than the individual parts…

A cross-industry mega-campaign? An event maybe? The banking sector joining forces to raise awareness of all aspects of mental health issues and support. A large bank supporting MHUK, another supporting Mind, a fintech supporting research with MQ Health, a team from a small bank doing a challenge to fundraise for Alzheimers Society, an individual banking employee supporting PANDAS foundation, etc, etc, all getting together to demonstrate that mental health issues impact us all, and by working together – industries and charities alike, even those that normally compete – we can make a massive difference.

I can hear the ‘but it’s just not how things are done’ chorus already. But I also think that in itself makes it all the more important, more compelling. Going back to #banking #fintech #collaboration again, this is the kind of industry collaboration that actually is unlimited and sustainable – and by getting involved you get to make even more valuable business connections.

To steal the words of an existing mental health campaign – #ItsTimeToChange

*Individuals – just a note that I like the idea that an individual’s work for a specific cause could be supported by the weight of the industry, just as an individual could choose to give to a campaign supported by a large bank.

PS Having just written this, I am now leaning towards Industry Social Responsibility (ISR) as the label for this mission, especially as the Social part has the perfect dual-purpose here: social as in ‘society’ AND social as in ‘socialising’ (or networking). I do so love a word play.  #IndustrySocialResponsibility #ISR

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