In this month’s member interview series we feature Sam Moore, Head of Community Bank Model Development at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, about his experience with shared value and the role he plays within the bank in expanding the Community Bank model and supporting the organisation along its shared value journey. Sam acknowledges the bank’s broader role in the community, and how aligning the bank’s long-time Community Bank model with the more recent shared value terminology has helped to shape the approach the business takes more generally.
What does shared value mean to you?
Successful business needs successful community and vice versa. It’s shared value’s foundation and the starting point for shared value strategies. From there it’s about business concentrating on what it’s good at, in the context of the social issues of our time, and considering tailoring their particular business to contribute more broadly to meet one or more of those community issues. And doing so in a profitable and therefore sustainable way.
What lead you individually to the shared value idea? How did you come across it?
I enjoy others’ success as well as my own. Overall business makes a significant positive contribution to communities, but it’s not without issues; which can result from business taking a narrow transactional role. Encouraging business to think more broadly, and to consider (and sometimes to reconsider) their core business in the context of the issues facing communities, provides an opportunity for shared success.
I play a leadership role at the bank in talking about our Community Bank® model externally, and I initially came across shared value as a term to describe that model.
How is shared value playing a role within Bendigo Adelaide Bank and where are you at on the journey?
Our Community Bank® model is a great example of a shared value strategy. Given that it was started in 1998, long in advance of Porter and Kramer’s 2011 Harvard Business Review article, some have queried whether the shared value movement can offer anything to the bank.
To the contrary, it’s enabled the bank to very quickly communicate what the Community Bank model is, and to provide a context to the approach that the bank takes to its business more generally. As an organisation, we’ve historically considered CSR somewhat sceptically, perhaps in some ways to our own detriment. However I think there’s a growing recognition that business has a broader role in community (beyond a narrow transactional or CSR obligation focus), and that this can sit comfortably at the core of a business. We welcome it, and are contributing what we can to the shared value discussion based on our own experience.
Shared value is also providing a framework to translate key principles of the Community Bank® model to other businesses with the bank; to enable them to consider shared value strategies of their own.
What is your role individually within Bendigo Adelaide Bank to support the organisation along its shared value journey?
As Head of Community Bank® Model Development, my role is to explore opportunities for our Community Bank® model overseas. Shared value enables me to translate to others quite simply what Community Bank® is all about. It’s also enabled me to do this internally, and to take on a role in helping other business units develop their own shared value strategies.
How has practicing shared value helped you individually in your role or career more generally?
It’s helped me to connect to a range of individuals and organisations across the world connected by common interests. And to share the bank’s shared value story and to hear about and learn from theirs.
What do you think are some pertinent issues in Australia that could be solved through creating shared value?
Rather than solving (which can be a bit overwhelming), I like to think about making a positive contribution to the solution. And then there’s no limit here. Just the other day I was at our Community Bank® National Conference where Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty was a guest speaker talking about domestic violence. In taking questions from the floor at the end, our Managing Director, Mike Hirst asked what the bank could do about domestic violence. Indeed I thought, beyond philanthropy, what could a bank do?
But, in my mind, Rosie Batty’s response was to encourage the bank to think about a shared value solution. Noting the financial minefield facing victims of domestic violence she implored us to think about the bank’s core business, and to consider how we could apply what we do to make a positive contribution here. Now I think that if a bank can apply a shared value solution to domestic violence, then there’s not many issues that can’t be approached using shared value strategies.