Business academics sometimes aren’t very bold. Too often we concentrate on achieving something doable rather than trying something that is a stretch. I always think that if no one thinks you’ll fail there isn’t much point in what you are doing.
I’m therefore fascinated when people embrace bold challenges. One such is SASB, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. This board aims to provide standards for the disclosure of information not currently covered by FASB, the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Specifically, SASB seeks to influence the reporting of US publicly held companies on environmental, social and governance issues.
To be honest I’m still solidifying my thoughts on their methods and chances of success. SASB’s mission isn’t an easy task to do well. That I’m not sure what I think is the point of this post. I like it when people attempt things when it isn’t clear they will be successful.
Willingness to take risks is a great thing. This is especially true for business academics given we are usually nicely cushioned from any serious downsides to failure.
SASB are only a couple of years old and are still building a profile. I for one wish them well as they take on their difficult challenges. The write up in my accountancy institute’s (ACCA) magazine struck the right tone. As the authors say, using an explicit Great Gatsby theme, “…SASB is nothing if not bold and full of hope.” (Clark and Savitz 2013). In British English there is often a subtext to the use of the word bold. It is equated with foolish, doomed to failure. I hope that this not the case. SASB are trying something hard to achieve. I for one admire that.
Read: The Great SASB, Holly Clark and Andy Savitz, Accounting and Business International, September 2013, pages 20-21