2022: The Year of Consciously Creating Shared Value
In 2021, the Shared Value Business Management Concept marked a decade of existence and a decade of being available to the business world to implement consciously and intentionally.
In the last 10 years, and particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we learned just how closely society and business are linked. That they are reliant on each other to secure a sustainability future for all.
As we begin 2022, my question to all leaders, young and old: Are you consciously creating Shared Value? Or are you paying lip service and just using the term in your sustainability report, your integrated report, on your website, in press releases… without consciously practicing the creation of Shared Value?
Truly creating Shared Value is about much more than just using the language and terminology.
We also need to stop retrofitting the language into our current world as it is about much more than using the term; it is also about our actions and intentions. Organisations that are practicing Shared Value do so intentional and it is demonstrated through their innovative products, their operations, their people management, their communities, their success, and their share price.
Indeed, creating Shared Value is first about profitability. Profitability that is driven by a purpose to benefit not only shareholders but all stakeholders. Purpose that is driven by leadership that understands that:
- In 2022, we need to consciously align strategy to the disciplines and principles of creating value for all.
- In 2022, we need to drive our profit intentionally and consciously with purpose.
- In 2022, we need to set up operations that positively impact not only the bottom line, but also the communities in which we operate.
- In 2022, we need to ensure that board members and management teams truly understand and buy into the concept of creating Shared Value and being a purpose-driven organisation.
- In 2022, we need to ensure that we equip our biggest stakeholder group, our employees, with an understanding of our purpose and our intention to create value for all.
- In 2022, we need to consciously and intentionally innovate and create products and services that will not harm our people or our planet.
- In 2022, it is about every employee, every supplier and every one of our stakeholders understanding what their role is in creating profit with purpose.
- In 2022, it is about aligning and consciously setting our targets to assist in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and create value for all.
Simply put, creating Shared Value is the way every company should operate, no matter what size. Organisations need to be sustainable to continue to operate, pay salaries, pay taxes, pay suppliers. However, it is about how we create this sustainability and the impact we have on society and our environment that reflect our true intentions.
CEOs, CFOs and management teams need to create an understanding for our shareholders that there are no quick fixes and quick profits. Creating Shared Value is a long-term commitment to the people and the planet with the vision that strategically implementing Shared Value will result in profit. Look at organisations such as Walmart, Unilever, Nestle, Discovery, Safaricom, Nedbank, Vodacom, Abbott to name a few in our Shared Value community.
My plea to business and governments; in 2022, become part of the Shared Value community so that we as a collective can use our power as a force for good. Let us stop claiming that we are Shared Value practitioners and demonstrate it consciously through our work and become a voice of change and a force for action to transform Africa and build back better. Let us as a collective tackle our climate change challenges, address the UN Sustainable Goals, and become recognized, reputable, and respected change agents that deliver on creating value for all.
Founder & CEO
Shared Value Africa Initiative and Shift Impact Africa