Creating Shared Value- A How to Guide for the New Corporate (R)evolution

27 Sep 2017

In recent years, this sharp dividing line has started to blur. Companies increasingly recognize that their contributions can be more effective if they align them with core competencies. This allows them to leverage their expertise, value chains, and influence to “punch above their weight” on social issues. For example, the Mary Kay cosmetics company used its lobbying power to take breast cancer awareness to the top of the political agenda inside the U.S. Congress. Similarly, Dutch logistics firm TNT applied its expertise to help the World Food Program improve its efficiency in responding to famines and other natural disasters.

However, the most advanced companies have begun to look at social engagement through a different lens entirely. Rather than seeing business and society in opposition, they recognize the enormous potential of business to contribute to social progress. At the same time, they understand that firms depend on healthy and well-functioning societies to thrive. Such companies seek to create “shared value” — incorporating social issues into their core business strategies to benefit both society and their own long-term competitiveness.