Marion Darrieutort “Urgency has to stimulate us”

As part of our second magazine ForHum, we questioned the view of Marion Darrieutort, co-president of Entreprise et Progrès, an association whose aim is to promote growth, integration and social progress.

Between societal transformation and new challenges, Marion Darrieutort comes back to the need to act.

ForHum: How do you see the societal transformation of companies today? 

Marion Darrieutort: We’re accelerating, there’s momentum and greater awareness.  The challenge now is to actually take action. A new era is opening up with the common good at the centre of company strategy. This change will lead to an overhaul of our models. Businesses and their leaders need to realise that changing for the common good is a competitive advantage, in small companies as well as large corporations. 

What are the issues in further accelerating these changes in companies? 

There are still many of them. Urgency has to stimulate us. For example, I think there is still a big step to be taken on the finance side. New performance indicators must also be devised and implemented. We are making progress, but today, for example, I don’t see any examples of major companies that have implemented triple-capital accounting. 

Another aspect is moving forward together. I am a great believer in coalition diplomacy. This is the basis of the “Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG)” movement, launched at the G7 summit in Biarritz. Under the aegis of the OECD, and at Danone’s initiative, B4IG brings together 40 multinationals that have taken real steps to commit to inclusive growth and that share their good practices and lessons learned. 

At the think tank Entreprise et Progrès, you talk about “activist leaders”; what do you mean by that? 

For 50 years, Entreprise et Progrès has been bringing together business leaders who want to change their practices. To evolve, we are convinced that we have to take action, because words are not enough. We must also be aware that the transformation is gradual, and that we’re not doing everything right. That’s what an activist leader is for us: a leader in action with a progress-driven approach who inspires and gets people to follow his or her lead. 

And you, as a CEO, what drives you today? 

From a pragmatic point of view, I think this period gives us an exceptional opportunity to restore the leader’s image. Today’s society has high expectations of businesses. It is up to the leaders to meet these expectations and to motivate their teams.

Founded in 1970 by François Dalle, President of L’Oréal, and Antoine Riboud, founder and President of Danone, Entreprise et Progès currently brings together more than 120 companies. Its co-presidents are Marion Darrieutort and Antoine Lemarchand, also President of Nature et Découvertes.

This interview is taken from page 35 of our magazine ForHum, currently available for free consultation on our website.