Responsibility and Opportunity

Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., was quoted in Politico’s Playbook this morning talking about how corporations’ view of D.C. has changed.  He said:

“People have lost kind of faith in the ability of government to provide solutions for their daily concerns. That’s provided both a responsibility and opportunity for businesses and NGOs, to work together to get things done. It’s opened up that space and created demand for it. So, the biggest difference is: You don’t count on Washington to get things done anymore.”

Dach knows what he is talking about.

Over the past seven years, he has been responsible for public policy, reputation management, corporate communications, philanthropy, government relations, plus the company’s social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at Wal-Mart.  And over the past seven years, more than any other company on the planet I would argue, Wal-Mart has demonstrated its commitment to addressing serious issues - around climate change and the environment, hunger and obesity, and more. 

I expect that Wal-Mart will continue its commitment to addressing serious issues after Dach departs in June.  But I wonder if/how many businesses and NGOs will accept the responsibility and embrace the opportunity that he is talking about.  That’s something I would like to see.