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Creating Shared Value – Long Term Thinking on Markets, Competition, and Business Management

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Well I am elated and I didn’t win the lottery.  On Research Friday (I segment my days and given them names for the tasks I want to do) I was browsing around to refine my process for determining “shared values” with the community and I discovered there is a whole new line of academic thought (started in 2011 by an article penned by Harvard Professor Michael Porter and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Fellow Mark Kramer. ) called Creating Shared Value (already has an acronym called CSV – very creative).

CSV starts out from the perspective that the Capitalist System is under siege, makes the case that Corporations are creating unsustainable enterprises, and that Corporate Social Responsibility programs are just external band-aids to salve the PR wounds.  It arrives at the wonderful conclusion that Capitalism and its relation to society can be reshaped, such that the economic efforts of the enterprise DO NOT have to be tempered to meet societal needs – but can be improved by creating common shared values for both the company and its community… not trying to eat a bigger slice of the pie…building a bigger pie for everyone.  Here is nice video from Forbes explaining the concept.

After finding out about this approach to business, I thought if fit nicely with the vision of Community Marketing – and our intent to develop communities, express shared values, and empower the community members can be easily seen as one of the tools of this academic pursuit.  I did some more research and found out that the beginnings of a practice are coming into place.  For example, the large nonprofit consulting group FSG is launching the Shared Value Institute. And a think tank in California has formed called The Values Institute.   Interesting times!!!  I will keep you up to date as I learn more.

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