Getting the cobalt out of your pillows

If you happened to be a pillow manufacturer and read this Washington Post article on the cobalt miners in Congo, you were probably smugly thinking: Not my problem – cobalt is used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Chances are good, cobalt is not your problem. Chances are also good that you don’t know exactly what is in your product – whatever that is. The reason: few companies, especially outside certain industries like food and beverage and beauty and personal care, bother to really learn about the environmental and social impacts of their supply chains.

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The transparent organization

I recently took my 7-year-old daughter to a girl’s learn-to-code event, where she built her first video game. As we toured the offices of the tech company hosting the event, with its ping pong table, yoga studio and video game consoles, I noticed one of the values written on the wall: there are no doors here, only windows.

It was another reminder of the growing popularity of transparency in the workplace. Organizations increasingly recognize the quality’s ability to maximize team performance, minimize risks to a brand, engage employees and create productive work relationships.

Many organizations are also still terrified of it.

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