You work as tourism consultant with CSR Innovators (CSR-I), a reputable international consultancy company specialised in business innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR-I started operations in 2000 and has since then developed into a global brand, getting CSR policies and strategies up and running for a manifold of brands across the world.
About CSR Innovators
CSR Innovators has established itself as a reputed consultancy firm with a client portfolio featuring major transnational corporations including global brands such as Boeing, Exxon Mobile, Motorola, Shell, and Unilever. Over the past decade, CSR-I established a solid reputation across sectors; the company won high profile, multi-million dollar contracts in, among others, the construction business, the aviation industry, petrochemicals, telecommunications, logging and mining. In 2004 it launched CSR Hospitality Innovators, a separate business unit specifically focusing on the hospitality, tour operating, and transport business. From that year onwards, Hospitality Innovators has gradually established itself as the market leader in CSR advisory services for the global tourism industry, with clients including major airline companies, destination marketing organizations, tour operators, and international hotel chains.
The CSR-I Approach
CSR-I takes the strengths and assets of their clients as a starting point, reframing policies and strategies from within, without losing grips with the complex external environment of the global market place. Its focus is on the DNA of companies; CSR-I aims to rework a company’s business model in order to secure long term operational sustainability based on a triple bottom line (people—planet—profit). Through this truly innovative approach it has taken CSR from boardroom discussions to everyday business operations! In order to enhance creativity of CSR-I projects, it is company policy to employ experts in special project teams on specific assignments. During the process, there are regular meetings with other project teams working on similar or complementary assignments, in order to create synergy through exchange of knowledge and ideas, and make maximum use of creativity.
Small and medium sized tourism enterprises catering to niche markets in Europe are confronted with consolidating growth rates and decreasing profit margins, which puts budgets under pressure. At the same time, change in the global business arena (new competitors, changing consumer preferences, and demographic trends, and the rapid introduction of new technologies) requires all market players to invest in innovation in order to stay relevant in the decades to come. As a result of such uncertainties, these companies cut in their CSR related spending: particular if the return on investment of CSR activities is low and uncertain.
As part of their strategy to secure the long-term future of the company, [Name company commissioner] is developing a new brand, and has requested CSR-Hospitality Innovators to assess which social responsible product features should be embedded in this brand and how this should be done.
The company’s director, [Name], will act as your commissioner.
The commissioner is willing to take your recommendations in consideration, provided there is a solid business case that demonstrates how the suggested action(s) enhance(s) the company’s overall business performance within 3 years.
The management of CSR Hospitality Innovators has appointed two project teams to this client that will work simultaneously on this assignment, to facilitate maximum creativity. In your capacity as CSR consultant, you will be part of one of these teams.
In a time span of 6 weeks, your team is asked to do two things:
Assessment of the client’s company and brand identity, business performance and external business environment (deliverable I)
Your team should analyse the client’s current CSR strategy with respect to the strategic pillar selected in relation to its corporate identity (1), its business environment (2), and business performance (3). Teams working on the same pillar should differentiate their focus in coordination with each other.
Build a business case that presents one tangible improvement with regard to this strategic pillar (deliverable II)
Based on the assessment your team should identify improvements, select the best improvement (1!) and present this improvement in a solid business case. This business case should demonstrate the return on investment the improvement will generate (1) and its contribution to the company’s overall business performance (2).
Both the assessment and the business case should be put in a final report and handed over to client in week 7. A template and guidelines for the final report can be found below. Prior to handing over the final reports, your team will deliver a presentation of the major findings to the commissioner in their head office on October 10th (Week 6). Specific guidelines for this presentation are as well below.
Putting together the project teams. Your team starts to work on part I of the assignment.
Week 2 & 3
Each team will work on part I of the assignment and assess the commissioner’s CSR strategy with respect to the selected pillar, its corporate identity, business environment and business performance, and formulates preliminary recommendations for improvements. In week 3, your team prepares a one page summary based on your findings so far, for the meeting in week 4.
Week 4 & 5
The three project teams have a plenary brainstorm meeting in which each team present its mid-term findings based on their one page summaries. The aim is to exchange ideas and discuss possible improvements to the current CSR strategy of the commissioner clients. Based on the first scan (week 2) and this brainstorm meeting (week 3), each team will now perform the final analysis of the client’s CSR strategy, select the best improvement (1!) based on prior findings and inputs from the brainstorm meeting, and build the business case for this improvement. Each team will prepare a
presentation for the commissioner, in which it will summarize major findings, and
present their business case. As a prelude to this presentation (and summary of the project), your team will prepare a 2 minute video clip (see Appendix 2) in which you will summarize your major findings for the commissioner.
The week starts with a preparations in which you can test and discuss your presentation with the other teams. Subsequently, presentations to the commissioner will take place on Wednesday, October 10th from 12.30 to 16.00 in the head office of the commissioner. Based on the feedback of the commissioner, you can start finalizing your final reports.
Complete and hand in final report.