Sustainability. Corporate responsibility. Shared value. Modern business language is fraught with buzzwords. At Next Generation, we make it our business to give these words and values definitions. We aid businesses to engender social impact and return on investment. You want your enterprise to have meaning. Today it’s no longer just about company shares and business models. It’s about taking initiative and setting an example.
WHAT IS SHARED VALUE?
Short definition: Pursuing financial success in a way that also yields societal benefits.
Companies that create shared value understand an important thing. They know that trying times require innovative business models. It’s about seeing challenges as opportunities. It is about global competitiveness, new products, services and markets – it is about creating value. And this time it is not just value for shareholders, but also for other stakeholders – and that is shared value.
Societal constraints present business development opportunities. Environmental hurdles can spur growth. New technology can enhance logistics and market penetration. Innovation in product design and function can enhance reputation. The future of work can create opportunities for a new way of working. Job creation, food security and climate change can present new opportunities for new value creation. But business and society should benefit equally, as should the environment. This balance allows companies to stay competitive, and even to flourish.
Creative shared value is a thing of beauty. When a business aims to address a social ill through better processes, integrated supply chains, innovative products and services, it benefits the people. Similarly, when they go green, nature profits and natural resources are shared equally. In return, everyone wins. The concept of value lies in shared meaning. A business with this approach will always rise to the top.
Good shared value initiatives:
- M-Pesa: This Kenyan money-transfer and financing service was launched by Safaricom. They found that other money transfers were very expensive and that the answer lay in providing a viable alternative. Now 22 million Kenyans use M-Pesa no longer just to send money, but also to buy financial products and services, buy electricity and basic necessities.
- Cisco Systems Networking Academy: The tech group partners with schools and governments. Social purpose organisations are also roped in. Their reach extends from Brazil to South Africa. They use their cloud technology to provide training, and students considering IT careers are supported. Competitive job markets, the future of work, the fourth industrial revolution, the war for talent – Cisco has created their own future talent pipeline.
- 2KUZE: This mobile marketplace by Mastercard helps smallholder farmers to manage their businesses. They negotiate quantities and pricing through feature phones. Pricing and payment are also addressed, and the micro-merchants benefit exponentially. In turn, Mastercard gains previously non-existent market share.
- Anglo American’s HIV/Aids programme: The global mining company funded the first substantial drive to raise awareness about HIV/Aids, diagnose and treat it. It benefitted the community vastly. In return, their workforce was protected and absenteeism was reduced.
- Discovery’s Vitality programme: By encouraging members to live healthier lives, the medical aid division pays out fewer medical claims. Similarly, by encouraging insurance clients to drive better and safer, fewer claims have to be settled. Clients benefit by living healthier and safer lives, and their medical aid and car insurance expenses are reduced.
These are just a few of the inspiring examples of the value of creating shared value strategies. Do you require assistance with the best shared value approach? Next Generation will guide your experience and answer your questions. We have assisted numerous companies across Africa to create new shared value for all stakeholders. Contact us for tailor-made corporate governance support.
Our services in this regard include:
- Extensive research and benchmarking to find opportunities for creating shared value strategies across the value chain.
- Integrated engagement to ensure that internal and external views, perceptions, opinions, expectations, risks, impacts and influence are considered.
- Exceptional strategies to enhance brand and reputation, create new markets and revenue streams, and ensure future sustainability and profitability.
In the meantime, here is a link to our articles about shared value.