You already recognize the importance of meaningful work and the significance of your business’ social impact within the community. But how can you address the link between society and business in a profitable way?
A concept called “shared value”: it’s a strategy to generate economic value by addressing societal challenges. It goes above and beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility or sustainable business practices; it’s about connecting company success with social progress and makes social issues a core component of a business’ strategy and operations.
The idea comes from Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, who published an article in the Harvard Business Review on the topic. They stated three levels of shared value:
1) Reconceiving products and markets: Creating or selling products that address unserved or underserved customers.
2) Redefining productivity in the value chain: Utilizing resources, employees and partners to boost efficiency.
3) Enabling local cluster development: Supporting the community by improving skills, suppliers and institutions.
When you realign your management strategy to focus on both the business and your community, you will see long-term business success. A company that uses resources and capabilities to solve specific community problems will strengthen its competitive positioning and gain trust within the industry.
Plus, when you pursue shared value opportunities, you’ll open yourself up to new markets and potential partners. Moving your overall strategy toward a social focus could either boost sales or reduce costs, depending on the changes you’re making. Along the way, your company will be required to become more innovative with its strategy and processes—not a bad thing in a consistently changing marketplace.
Wherever you are—or want to be—on the shared value journey, your specific business will require different resources and support. If you’re interested in learning more or want inspiration and advice on how to break down silos and scale up shared value efforts, let us know. PR Unscripted knows the benefits your business will receive when you find opportunities by solving social problems.