Fashionable words.

An assembly unit

An assembly unit

Fashion is everywhere, even in vocabulary. It’s fun. But as fashion is also a picture of the society, it is also informative. “Post-truth” and “Disruptive” have been the words of the year 2016.

Many companies have tried to bring disruptive changes in their products or processes. But it is obviously not easy as you have to think out of the box.

US elections have been the culmination of a trend on post-truth. Many fake statements have been made, leading to many media feeds with no connection with the truth. The information, real or not is then memorized all the same. It has been called “post-truth.”

Why is there a vocabulary reminder in this blog? It is usually about CSR and social audits in factories.

Actually, I often wonder if the prevailing practice in terms of social audit is not an example of Post-truth. When we are auditing certified or qualified companies in Asia, we always find at least one major gap that should have prevented the certification or the qualifications. But, by keeping saying factories are compliant, some finally believe it. That makes the truth difficult to hear and to take into account as the organization of western companies is set considering the possibility of selecting certified or qualified companies. It is then necessary some factories are reported as such (independently of their actual level) to keep the processes running.

Would putting the truth at the core of the social assessment be disruptive considering the current situation?  One of the potential consequence would be the disappearance of the audit criteria as we know them today. They would indeed be useless as certification wouldn’t be achievable anymore. The auditing approach would also be strongly impacted. Without any level criteria (as the one we have currently) answers couldn’t be a simple Yes/No, but would have to be an assessment of the situation according to the context. (It is not unusual in the field of the audit. ISO 9001 requires an organization that will allow each company to set its own expectation level.) On a second stage, the factories’ transparency should be fully changed too as the interest of creating a dissimulation system would be fully modified.

We could then make a wish for 2017. May 2017 be the year of the end of the post-truth on the compliance of factories by having a disruptive approach on the factories assessment.

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