To get a shared value initiative up and running, your people need the right mindset. It’s is not a side project that sits in the CSR or Sustainability department, it will require many people in different parts of your organisation to work together, much like any other business-as-usual initiative. Shared Value Project Member Phil Preston outlines seven essential mindset requirements.
How do you create a shared value mindset? I outline the top seven requirements, which can serve as a checklist for you.
Shared value is not an academic discipline as many think or hope it is. It is merely another lens through which to innovate and find new opportunities for businesses, and it also gives non-profits new ways to approach businesses for greater levels of support.
When Paul Breen of construction labour hire provider, Productivity Force, set up a training program to better prepare unemployed people for work in the industry, he wasn’t sitting around wondering, “How I can invent a shared value strategy?” Instead, he was wrestling with a business issue: that trainees seldom last more than two years, which affects turnover and staffing costs.
He found a win-win by creating a training program that took a more sophisticated approach compared to TAFE courses or similar programs. It was Paul’s mindset that created this opportunity, not the existence of the shared value concept, nor an academic discipline around it.
The academic sector has found this challenging, trying to prove or disprove shared value’s validity and worth. My response is to say: Does it matter? As a conceptual framework it leads businesses into places where they wouldn’t normally go. It is hard to attribute and track value in an academic way and, because of that barrier, should we stop exploring? Absolutely not.
How do you create the right mindset?
As someone who educates and helps identify shared value opportunities with large corporations, SMEs, non-profits and government, it has become apparent to me that there are 7 essential mindset requirements:
- Interdependence – awareness that business performance depends heavily on the socio-economic conditions that surround it
- Social innovation – an ability to join the dots and link positive societal outcomes with business benefits
- Optimisation – don’t try and solve every problem, lever what the business is good at or has in abundance to maximise social impact
- Proactiveness – opportunities won’t appear magically, you need to go out and find them
- Investment – you need to innovate and invest using a business case in order to get a return
- Patience – the capacity to think and act beyond short-term reporting cycles
- Analytics – measure and collect data as best you can to better inform your allocation of internal resources
To get a shared value initiative up and running, your people need the right mindset. It’s is not a side project that sits in the CSR or Sustainability department, it will require many people in different parts of your organisation to work together, much like any other business-as-usual initiative.
And therein lies the power of shared value – it should be part of business-as-usual, helping to lever what the business is good at in a more sustained way.
If the Productivity Bootcamp training program helps Paul to lower his cost base he will keep investing in it, which is a great outcome for him and the Western Sydney community.
How do you rate yourself or your organisation against this checklist?
This article was originally published by Phil Preston via The Collaborative advantage.