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Shared Value Champion: Candice Smith, AIA Australia

August 27, 2019

What does shared value mean to you?

The concept of shared value to me is really just a mechanism of amplifying the opportunity for affecting positive change in the society in which I live and work. The ability to use the large and powerful machine that is the corporate industry to help solve some of society’s greatest challenges.

What led you individually to the shared value concept? How did you come across it?

I have been privileged enough to have worked for two organisations, Discovery and AIA, for the past 12 years that both passionately believe in the concept of shared value and really embrace the philosophy as part of the core DNA of the business. I first learned about the concept of shared value after hearing Adrian Gore present on the concept at an annual leadership summit that I attended a number of years ago.

What does shared value success look like at AIA and where are you at on the journey?

I believe that when shared value is truly successful in an organisation is when it is so integral to the core of the business that it can no longer be separated out. To be most effective the principles of shared value need to be strategically and fundamentally embedded in every aspect of a business rather than a department or strategy that lives alongside the business.

What is your role individually within AIA to support the company along its shared value journey?

My role as the Head of Wellness for AIA in Australia and New Zealand is in itself a testament to the enterprise’s commitment to the shared value model. Traditionally the insurance industry has not recognised the behavioural nature of risk nor been inclined to invest in the health and wellbeing of customers, instead having focussed on funding for illness and crises. At AIA our vision is to champion Australia and New Zeland to be the healthiest and most protected nations in the world and my job really highlights that vision by ensuring a strategic focus on health promotion and prevention across the Life insurance, Health insurance and Vitality businesses.

How has practicing shared value helped you individually in your role or career more generally?

I believe that people who are driven by purpose and passion tend to be happier, more productive and more fulfilled in their roles. What shared value has enabled in my career is the ability to be involved in businesses that are affecting real positive changes in society. It has given me the unique opportunity to work for something more than just pure profit, in a world in which a win-win situation truly does exist.

What do you think are some pertinent issues in Australia that could be solved through creating shared value?

The closest to my heart and the issue that I have been most closely involved in for the past decade and across many countries globally is that of shifting the dial in healthcare. The incredible opportunity to make massive fundamental shifts in the global disease and mortality burden by simply changing people’s behaviours and choices. Currently 89% of all deaths in Australia can be attributed to four main conditions (Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Chronis lung disease and certain cancers) which are driven by four main behavioural risk factors, smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol intake.