By Jocelyne Daw
JS Daw & Associates has officially been certified as a Shared Value Consulting firm! We are eager and ready to provide shared value consulting services to corporations, government and civil society organizations. Creating Shared Value (CSV) is a strategy that enhances the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing social, environmental and economic conditions.It was exciting to be part of the FSG Creating Shared Value training, held in London England in October. JS Daw & Associates is now a member of the global Shared Value Initiative. I am pleased to share with you highlights of my learning and how we will work with our clients to advance this new and innovative approach to corporate-community engagement.What is Creating Shared Value?Creating Shared Value allows businesses to create a competitive advantage, which in turn will deliver better returns for shareholders, through actions that substantially address societal issues.Leading organization understand they depend on healthy and well-functioning societies in order to thrive. At the same time they recognize the enormous potential of business to contribute to social progress. Such companies seek to create “shared value” by incorporating a social purpose into their core business strategies, ensuring that they:
Add measurable benefit to societal challenges;
Drive social and business innovation; and
Strengthen the long-term competitiveness and profitability of their business
These are the key characteristics of Creating Shared Value (CSV). Shared Value initiatives are of a part of portfolio approach to social engagement programs. CSV defines a new role for business in society that goes beyond traditional models of philanthropy, strategic giving or corporate social responsibility.Creating Shared Value demands a different set of assumptions. Social engagement is treated not as an obligation but as a long-term investment that enables a company to be more competitive and to deliver strategic positioning. Fundamental to CSV is its ability to create meaningful, measurable business profitability and measurable societal value.Why Create Shared Value?Corporate community involvement is now seen as a “must do” activity. In the past, corporate investments in community and environmental initiatives were generally seen as ‘obligations’. These investments were undertaken mostly through philanthropy and CSR and were viewed as additional costs necessary to gain a social license to operate, build positive community relationships and improve corporate reputation.Creating Shared Value moves corporate social engagement from reacting to external pressures, to defining social priorities based on a clear understanding of business goals, the corporate impact on society, and the effect of social issues on business competitiveness.How to Create Shared Value:Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, the authors of the original Jan/Feb 2011 Harvard Business Review article, "Creating Shared Value", identified three key ways shared value can be created:
Re-conceiving products and markets – Meet social and customer needs while better serving existing markets, accessing new ones, or lowering costs through innovation;
Redefining productivity in the value chain – Change practices in the value chain to drive productivity through better utilizing resources, employees and business partners;
Enabling local cluster development – Improve skills, local suppliers, and support local institutions to boost productivity, innovation and growth.
Another important characteristic of CSV is that it is embedded in and coordinated throughout the entire business. As opposed to being conducted through isolated initiatives, managers across the firm are accountable for progress.Shared Value: The Way ForwardMoving a corporation toward a shared value approach will require new thinking. Creating Shared Value entails a progressive reorientation of how the company understands its relationship with society. To be successful, organizations must work from the top down and from the inside out. They must identify a vision and direction, and then systematically work to build that into the organization’s DNA.JS Daw & Associates believes that leading organizations can Create Shared Value by using their core capabilities in ways that contribute to both social progress and economic success. The approach JS Daw & Associates takes to CSV will be unique, depending on an organization’s strategy, context, and competitive position. We look forward to helping your organization develop a shared value strategy to advance innovation, deliver greater value, deepen societal impact and strengthen your corporate brand.Look for our upcoming CSV blog: The growing expectations of business involvement in society and the role that creating shared value can play.
The training and Shared Value Initiative are undertakings of FSG, launched in 2012 to drive the adoption and implementation of shared value strategies. FSG, a nonprofit strategy firm was co-founded in 1999 by Mark Kramer and Michael E. Porter, authors of “Creating Shared Value”.All information and charts comes from the FSG Shared Value Training in London, UK, October 2013.