Creating shared value – In a nutshell

Published on 31st March 2016

Creating shared value – In a nutshell, expert advice from Vanessa Cobb

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I love business. The economy needs business to generate wealth but, in recent years, trust in the profit motive has fallen.

Many are looking for more meaningful careers and as customers we are asking how ethically and sustainably our goods and services have been sourced.

There used to be a clear divide between the community and business. And now the really exciting place to be is on the bridge between them.

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR was a great idea but in some ways it became a tick-box exercise for demonstrating ethical values. Often imposed from the outside, its objectives were building goodwill and smoothing over the reputation of the company.

Creating shared value or CSV is the exact opposite of business as usual.

New business opportunities are explored. Results are measured not just by profitability but by the social and economic value created.

CSV is a strategy that drives the whole company in the right direction. People from both sides of the bridge are meeting with an open mind to explore the possibilities of partnership and innovation.

Shared value is created not by philanthropy or good PR but when a business makes a connection between its commercial goals and the needs of the communities in which it operates, and lines them up so that the success of the enterprise benefits everyone. These companies are no longer making a difference they’re Leading the Difference.

To get started, look for a match of brand values – what your company stands for, what your staff and customers care about – then find community projects which share those values. The next step is to think creatively and explore ideas for working together to mutual advantage.

There are many ways to create shared value and benefits can include new market development, higher staff engagement and unlocking natural leadership potential within the team.

Vanessa Cobb
Vanessa Cobb Professional
[email protected]
0845 805 1080


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