• Steve Stuart

Six-pointers and CSR

Is the world turning quicker during this lockdown than the last?


Maybe it’s my perception or we are a bit more seasoned in dealing with the situation, but the news narrative seems to be barreling along at a pace which was not seen in March.


The final declarations in the US Presidential Election have seemed to pass by at the bottom of the internet equivalent of the inside pages. It took me 5 clicks to get through to the BBCs Results Map which took a single click a week ago.


But when you do the details of the election college vote seem irrefutable. Whilst there will be the legal challenges raised about the validity of the vote (and the ability of such challenges to take place I feel are, when engaged correctly, an important part of proving the robust nature of democratic processes) the projected outcome of the results in the 50 states gives Joe Biden 306 electoral college votes. Donald Trump who’s bar was more than matching that of his Democratic Party challenger until the declarations in those key swing states seems a long way back on 232.


But the closeness of the vote in the states which “flipped” is clearly visible. The fact that Michigan looks so clear at 51/48 illustrates the narrow margins of the results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.





In football parlance these were the season defining “Six-Pointers”. And Biden won them all.


What lessons can be learnt from this? Well - the difference between perceived success and failure are occasionally exceptionally fine.


From a private sector perspective, it details that the importance of securing every last mark when responding to Public sector tenders. An increase in the proportion of marks given to Corporate Social Responsibility is one area which has not necessarily seen the kind of usual agile response which may be seen in other areas of private sector provision, particularly in local government.


It’s not necessarily that surprising. Providers are generally subject area specialists. Their core focus is the delivery of their core service. Be this the provision of contingent labour solutions, logistics services, grounds maintenance, waste collection, facilities management, parking enforcement or even track and trace services.


Even the most committed to their CSR are not going to have the same level of expertise in these areas, especially in the priorities or demands in the local areas in which they may be providing services to. As a result responses to CSR tender questions are often generic, unfocussed and marked lowly.


The cynics would be keen to point out that this would be because any CSR policy from a profit-making organisation are tokenistic, but I do not think that this is universally the truth.


At the National Children’s and Adults Services conference, which started as the ballot boxes were being opened across the US, there was a session on Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. As always, I was indebted to Rachael Wardell @WardellR for her coverage on twitter. But one remark on provision of sleep packs to those who are used to be forced to travel at night and have been exposed to unthinkable trauma leapt out to me.




I responded that there may be organisations that would probably jump at the opportunity to support the provision of such packs. And so it has proved. But again, the questions arise as to how they can engage with their local councils to try and assist for necessary items, required outside of projected budgets and not inline with normal procedures. Hopefully, a positive outcome can be brokered.


If there are companies out there that would be interested in investing in and developing their Corporate Social Responsibility strategies, or public sector organisations interested in highlighting requirements that can deliver social benefits that may otherwise not be realised then please get in touch.


As detailed the differences between success or failure are often very small. Small extra measures of assistance can make the very real differences for individuals and the communities in which they live. The rewards are distinct and tangible, the impacts on contract realisation or inspectorate ratings may actually become secondary – but will be positive all the same.

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