Suggested Interview Guide by owen213


									                                                     World inquiry into business as
                                                        an agent of world benefit

                        Suggested Interview Guide

                  Things that are fundamental to the inquiry:
•   We are looking for innovations, not companies
    As the world is only now becoming aware of the positive role that business can play, no company is
    perfect, but many have invented products, processes, and tools that bring benefit to the world while
    improving the bottom line. Our goal is to uncover these innovations, and to disseminate them widely so
    that many may learn from them.
•   We aim to go beyond philanthropy, business ethics, and traditional corporate social responsibility efforts
    While all of these efforts bring tremendous benefit to the world, we are interested in the ways that
    businesses are integrating principles of mutual benefit into the very foundations of their beliefs, their
    strategic thinking and their actions. We are searching for stories that balance and integrate business
    success and world benefit in a way that can be sustained over time.
•   We look for what is, not what could have been
    Ideas and future projects are great ways to stimulate imagination and expand thinking. However, we are
    searching for innovations that have been implemented and proven to bring about tangible measurable
    impact for business and society.
•   We share the best discoveries with the world
    The World Inquiry is a public, globally owned effort, so all the best discoveries also become available to
    public via the BAWB Innovation Bank. An international editorial board reviews all submissions,
    accepting all of those that meet the criteria for publication in the BAWB Innovation Bank. Visit the
    BAWB Innovation Bank to view stories already accepted.

               Things that might help you during the interview:
•   Become comfortable with the interview questions
    Consider your specific interests and questions, or the circumstances of the person you are interviewing.
    You do not need to read every question word for word. Rather, edit or add to them to address your
    particular situation. Feel free to explore any particular story, and customize the questions. The key
    requirement is to fulfill the five objectives outlined in this document.
•   Record the interview
    Video or audio record your interview. This will both free you from taking notes and guarantees a rich
    record of the conversation. This will be especially handy when you write your story. You may also want
    to submit any interview transcripts, and audio or video files with your story. You will need to request the
    permission of the person you are interviewing to record the interview.
• Gather demographic information
   Before you begin the interview, make sure to collect the demographic information you will need to fill
   out an interview submission form (to view the form, go to the World Inquiry site). Please make sure that
   you spell the respondent’s name correctly, and that you have his or her current title or position.

BAWB Suggested Interview Guide                                                                                   1
                                              Interview questions

Introduction (2 minutes)
    Tell the interviewee that you wish to have a “conversation,” more than a formal interview. Explain that you will read the
    following statement to “set the stage” for your conversation.

         Thank you for meeting with me. This interview is part of a world-wide contest, organized by Net
         Impact and the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University
         to find innovative business practices that are bringing benefit to society.
         Modern business is one of the most flexible institutions ever created for resolving issues and
         problems of any sort. Certain beneficial and healthful business practices, in which business acts as
         an “agent” of world benefit, are important and distinctive because they can create new opportunity
         for both the business and the surrounding community or society. This is business beyond
         philanthropy. All those involved in the business-and-society relationship emerge with more self-
         sufficiency, empowerment, or improved health and well-being – as well as a profit.
         Beneficial business practices can be used in addressing any social challenge. There are now many
         examples where business is part of the solution to address famine, war, poverty, human rights,
         environmental sustainability, and many other social issues. While it is true that business has been used
         to exploit and cause harm, we want to find exceptional examples where business has been a force for
         good. We are especially interested in stories of innovation that demonstrate the creative integration of
         both business and social objectives.
         This interview seeks your personal experiences and your perspective about the power of business to
         act as an agent of world benefit. I have sought this interview with you because I believe you have a
         unique perspective or story that deserves to be shared.

Objective #1: Establish An Affirming Atmosphere and Discovering a Story of Business-in-Society
Innovation(about 15 minutes)
   This is the most important part of the interview. Your goals here are to help the interviewee feel at ease in a conversation with
   you, and to discover the basic story of innovation. Both of you should feel energized when this objective is accomplished. Feel
   free to ask for more than one story as appropriate.

    1. To begin, I would like to learn about your personal story. Can you tell me, what do you do now?
       What most attracted you to your present work? And how did you become involved in your current
       work? What do you find most meaningful, valuable, challenging, or exciting in your current work?

    2. I would like you to reflect for a moment on your experience with business as a possible force for
       good. Think about a time when you witnessed or took part in an effort to use business in a way that
       created benefit for society. Please describe the action or innovation. What happened? Who was
       involved? What brought it about? What role did you play? Why was it significant to you?

BAWB Suggested Interview Guide                                                                                                     2
Objective #2: Explore Specific Details in the Story (about 10 minutes)
  Interesting stories include just enough detail to cause others to pause and implicitly say, “I can see myself in this story.” Seek
  to understand just a few of the details that give this story a plot.

    3. Every good story has a plot that creates a sense of adventure in the journey. What were some of the
       twists and turns in your story? For example, what was the biggest obstacle or challenge? How did you
       or others overcome any obstacles or challenges? What resources and strengths did you or others draw
       on to get through the rough spots? Was there a need to convince shareholders or others about the
       value of the action? What was the cost of the innovation or action in both human and financial terms?

    4. Often, many forces or events converge to make certain moments or stories possible. What factors
       facilitated the emergence of your story? What was happening in the environment, relationships, or
       other issues that allowed for action? What was innovative about the effort?

Objective #3: Obtain Evidence of Positive Impact (about 10 minutes)
  Demonstrable impact will give the story traction with other leaders. Make sure to find out at least a few tangible details that
  provide evidence of change or impact.

    5. Consider for a moment the impact in this story on you as an individual, on an organization or
       institution, on consumers, or on your local community or society. How do you personally measure the
       impact of the action? Do you see any financial, cultural, or social indicators of success? How would
       you describe the tangible impact of this innovation or action on others?

Objective #4: Discover Motivation or Purpose (about 10 minutes)
  In many cases, people may not agree with the particular actions taken in a story, but they may relate to the overall goal of
  making a difference for good. Find out enough information to communicate the basic intentions of those involved.

    6. Nearly every action intended to create benefit is motivated by a philosophy or set of beliefs about the
       good in society. What do you believe was the motivation behind the effort(s) you have just described?
       What values, beliefs, or assumptions about benefit in society were fundamental to the design of the
       action or innovation in your story?

Objective #5: Explore a Vision of Business in Society (10 minutes)
  In this part of the interview, your goal is to invite the interviewee to look forward and to think about encouraging more
  experimentation around business in society. Ask at least two of the questions below:

    7. Now think about the long-term impact of the innovation or action you have described. What will be
       the legacy of this work? How can this innovation or practice be scaled up, or applied in other
       situations to achieve even greater impact?

    8. Think about the lessons you have gained from the story. What do you think others can learn about the
       role of business in society from your story? What are the common questions or misconceptions about
       the role of business in social ventures? What message would encourage people who are inclined to
       make change through the use of business in society?

BAWB Suggested Interview Guide                                                                                                         3
Conclusion (2 minutes)
  To finalize the interview, take a few moments to find out about other stories or ideas.

        Is there anything you want to ask me or want to share with me before we finish?

        Do you know of other interesting examples where business has been used for good? Do you have
        contact information for individuals who could describe these stories?

        Thank you for your time. If you have any further ideas you would like to share with me, or questions
        about the project, please contact me at ______.

BAWB Suggested Interview Guide                                                                             4
   World inquiry into business as an agent of world benefit

I understand that the material from this interview including my name and my likeness may be incorporated
into an archive of profiles and stories of business and society innovation that is widely available on the
Worldwide Web. I hereby grant permission for this use.

Specifically, I grant permission to use the following identifications or affiliations:
        My name
        My title
        My company or organization name

Name of participant: _____________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________

Phone: (_____)______________________ Email: _____________________________

Signature:_________________________________________ Date:_________________

BAWB Suggested Interview Guide                                                                               5

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