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Will the world be better in 2018? Bian Que gives us a clue

2018-01-05China WTO TribuneYu Zhihong0


When the year of 2017 slipped away, 2018 comes along on the go. The new start of a year welcomes the new annual plan and it’s the same to enterprises.
 
Before making plans, we should ask ourselves, could we be better in 2018? Think about the social issues: the safety responsibility problem exposed by kindergarten abuse scandal, the environmental responsibility problem of some enterprises and the disorder of recruitment platform exposed by Li Wenxing incident… For those unforgettable pains, could we avoid repeating it in the new year?
 
Undoubtedly, in the new era, China business will not believe in outgrowing. Instead, China business should remain true to its original aspiration, respect the rules and keep its promises to move forward along the new journey that the nation has opened. And the role of corporate social responsibility will be more pressing and necessary than ever.
 
As long as the world has not been better, the social responsibility cannot be absent. Why? After listening to the story of the well- known Chinese physician Bian Que, you can understand it.
 
Is social responsibility important? I believe more people now will give the answer “yes”. Whether it can benefit for the long-term development of the enterprise, or it can be in line with the global trend of sustainable development, many business leaders can spout a lot of its benefits.
 
However, what is the connotation of social responsibility, what will it bring to the enterprise, and what changes can it bring to the corporate management? Not so many enterprises know the answer. What’s worse, when they get busy, they often forget the social responsibility behind in daily work and think it is not urgent matters, and not eager to include it in the agenda of management.
 
Shortly before, the media exposed that a secondary subsidiary of a central SOE in the western was severely punished due to the alleged disposal of hazardous waste. After the incident, the company felt wronged and explained that it has entrusted a third party to properly handle the crisis and the responsibility of the incident should entirely attribute to the third party.
 
In fact, from the perspective of social responsibility, the crux of this incident lies in the lack of supply chain management. A few years ago, the department in charge of corporate social responsibility proposed work programs to strengthen the company's supply chain management. Unfortunately, it was not approved by the company’s management. The reason is that there are more and more urgent things to do, so the company only needs manage the business of itself, and the supply chain management is not in a hurry.
 
I do not know whether the company’s management has regretted that they did not approve the supply chain management work program at that time in the face of this incident.
 
It reminds me the story of Bian Que in Spring and Autumn Period in China, who established the basis of Chinese medicine as it is still practiced today. 
 
The story is from the Spring and Autumn Period in China (about 770 BC). King Wen of Wei asked the most famous doctor Bian Que one day, “You and your two brothers are all experts in medicine, which of you is the best?”
 
Bian Que replied, “My eldest brother is the best, followed by my second brother, and I am the last.” The king then asked, “Then why is it that you are the most famous?”
 
Bian Que answered, “My eldest brother cures a disease before it shows any symptoms. Since people do not see the disease, they do not recognize his ability. My second brother terminates a disease in its early stages. People assume he is only capable of treating minor illnesses, so he is merely known within this locality and its neighborhood. As for me, I treat a disease when it is already very severe and serious. People can then see me perform surgery, such as bloodletting on the meridians and collaterals. So they all think I am the best because they believe I am well versed in medicine and can perform miracles. Therefore, I have become well known all over the country.” 
 
The story associates me to think that the corporate social responsibility management is more like the eldest brother and second brother of Bian Que. Corporate social responsibility management “cures a disease before it shows any symptoms” and “terminates a disease in its early stages” to make the body of enterprises avoid risks and be healthy.
 
However, more and more enterprises still place greater emphasis on business, they have not yet realized the value of social responsibility management, like Bian Que’s elder brothers. They are not willing to take any precautionary measures before the problems occur or fail to pay enough attention when minor problems occur and thus cannot timely resolve problems through social responsibility management.
 
Social responsibility management is a general term and it can help enterprises analyze business decision-making and operational risks and find values through relevant issues management. It should become a new paradigm of business management. And this is also becoming a trend.
 
Therefore, while affirming that Bian Que contributes to Chinese medicine, we also should recognize the greatness of Bian Que’s elder brothers as they were “treating the disease before it shows any symptoms and terminating a disease in its early stage”. Similarly, social responsibility also has the same function and deserves due attention.
 
 
 
 
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