Corporations and technology – sneak peek

The corporate form is becoming more and more imbued with technology. This post will look into two items in the news that speak to two important aspects of corporate functioning – (i) engaging with employees, and (ii) ESG – and how these two items are in fact changing the corporate form.

(i) Apparently employers are messaging Gen Z employees on Instagram because they may not check their email. Thierry Delaporte, the chief executive of Wipro is quoted as saying:

“To speak to my employees I go on Instagram or LinkedIn. It works better. They don’t even check emails sometimes. We have about 20,000 who we know don’t check even one email per month. They’re 25, they don’t care. They don’t go on their emails, they go on Snapchat, they go on all these things.”

Apparently these sorts of measures aim to address quiet-quitting and the desire for more work-life balance.

Vimeo is apparently doing the same thing. All this comes from this news article.

Changing the channel of communication is hardly revolutionary. Yet, I think this little trend, mostly in tech companies, shows that paying attention to employee satisfaction, and engaging on their terms, has become important in sectors with younger employees. There may also be security issues around such communication channels and companies would do well to pay attention.

(ii) Blockchain being used to prevent greenwashing

The second story is about farmers reporting environmental data through a blockchain application. Howard Silby, NALB’s chief innovation officer put it like this:

“The advance here is the data can be reported in an automated way using blockchain. This may simplify the reporting process for farmers, so they are not sending data in multiple ways, to multiple different places.”

NAB is involved because they are the loan provider. The loan requires customers to show that they are ‘operating in a sustainable way’. More specifically the data that is required to be reported to the loan provider is ‘evidence of ground cover using satellite imagery, and the health of legume plantations that reduce the carbon emission of cattle’. This then helps NAB ‘prove the impact of its green lending book amid more regulatory scrutiny of ESG claims’ (the AFR article I’m referring to makes note of ASIC actions against greenwashing).

This is an interesting innovation and one to watch out for.

The broader message I’m picking up from this and the previous news story about communications with employees is that, as the corporate purpose and sustainability calls escalate, corporations are attempting to address specific issues innovatively. Sometimes this is through the use of very simple pre-existing technologies and at other times it is by means of more sophisticated technology.

The topic of corporations and technology is the subject of a bigger project I am working on and this post simply offers a very small view into that project.


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