Several colleagues have sent me a link to this chart from McKinsey. My first reaction, before I even read it, was: that's a heck of a chart.
But the message they are sending here is a useful one. Most social investors have had the experience of meeting an idealistic management team, only to find that the company didn't live up to the ideals. So I certainly agree with this: "a company should identify emerging trends and develop coherent organization-wide responses—an approach that requires it to integrate social issues into all dimensions of the business, not just the making of strategy."
It also reminds me of a point the late Robert Townsend used to make - some jobs are too important to be left to staff, particularly those relating to strategic direction or external communication. Townsend had no love for consultants, but I think he'd approve of how McKinsey puts the CEO at the center of the chart. It's certainly consistent with what I've seen over the years. Corporate social records tend to be pretty stable. You typically see rapid change only when a new CEO comes in and makes social responsibility a priority.