[Guest Blogger] The Business Value of Social Responsibility

Graham Jones (Vancouver, President of VANTUG)

I have written here a number of times about JDQ and their 3Spheres community program. One of my blogs was an interview with Jon Morris, JDQ President. In that interview I asked Jon about his reasoning behind starting the 3Spheres program. Part of his answer was, “Community works are a potential way to do some ‘Relationship Marketing’ in the hope that it will eventually bring in some business”. At first sight this might look somewhat self-serving. However, if you knew Jon and the other JDQ Principals you would immediately recognize that they all truly believe in companies having a “social conscience” and the need for everyone to make some contribution, regardless of any possible business benefits. If, ultimately, there are business benefits then that only re-enforces the model and encourages further investment in the community – everybody gains!

The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) gives Technology Impact Awards at an annual celebration dinner ($150 a plate). This is the largest event of its kind in BC with over 800 people in attendance. The “who’s who of the local industry” is there. My reason for bringing this up is that JDQ have been nominated in the “Leadership in Social Responsibility” category. The 2006 winner was IBM. For JDQ to be nominated is an outstanding achievement, winning would be something that I suspect Jon would never have even dreamed about. IBM and JDQ are at totally opposite ends of the industry scale. It only goes to prove that it is not “what you are” but “who you are”.

Privately, Jon may have had concerns that JDQ’s community work would never pay off for the business. Nonetheless I feel quite sure that Jon’s social beliefs would have made him continue for as long as JDQ could afford it. Now here we are with JDQ to be showcased in front of 800+ people from the local ICT industry. If ever there was an opportunity for JDQ’s 3Spheres efforts to pay off for JDQ’s business then it doesn’t get better than this.

Yesterday I had a phone call from Jon Morris inviting me to sit at the JDQ table at the June 6th awards event as recognition for my assistance to them in their 3Spheres program. I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to share in their success, which I believe is very richly deserved. There is no better feeling than to know that you “helped to make a difference”.

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