Shared Value: Business Opportunity

Shared Value: Business Opportunity


Michael Porter knows his stuff. He’s a professor at Harvard and widely respected author on strategic thinking in business, especially of multiple books with ‘Competitive’ in the title.  More importantly though is his attention to the less traditional side of competitive business, my side, the good side.

The capitalist system is under siege.

One ongoing focus of this attention has been his interrogation of the world of CSR. A couple of years ago he, along with Mark Kramer, unleashed Creating Shared Value (CSV) into the wild, yet another consultant friendly Three Letter Acronym. For me, CSV is more of a refreshing of what CSR was always about, when in reality it had become a grossly misused term which was actively exploited by too many in the corporate world. My position is born out of own starting point in this particular space 15 years ago when I stumbled across the term CSR via an informal definition of ‘better balancing social, environmental and financial impacts whilst maximising profit’.

CSV / Shared Value helps move the debate forward, but in essence it is more of a refinement and re-branding exercise that also helps support consultancy work, rather than any step change in responsible business frameworks. The one important element for me that Shared Value re-energises is an entrepreneurial opportunity focused emphasis that is regularly overlooked in a risk management dominated agenda.

Why Business Can Be Good At Solving Social Problems is Michael’s latest TED Talk

Click here to view video

David Connor is the Managing Director for 3BL Media in Europe. He has over 13 years experience in the CSR agenda and is also the Managing Director of Coethica, a UK based CSR consultancy with particular expertise in engaging small businesses. Prior to Coethica, David was responsible for the multi-award winning Community Programme at Everton Football Club and also managed the England Amputee Football Team. He has been involved at Board level for numerous non-profit organisations supporting regeneration, youth sport, affordable housing, retail, financial services and small business support. Away from CSR, David entertains his wife and son, goes out running, biking, playing golf or is escaping into films, with skydiving next on his to do list.
*This post originally appeared on David Coethica's Blog.  Posted with permission of the author.