Creating Shared Value: an introductory video from FSG

FSG, defining itself as social impact consultants, is a non profit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research. Having Michael Porter (from Porter’s five forces analysis) in its board of direction, it is not a surprise they released an introductory video about his idea of the moment: creating shared value.

Michael Porter

As explained elsewhere (e.g. on the FSG website itself, on wikipedia, in The New York Times or in the original article in HBR), creating shared value is about developing deep links between their business strategies and corporate social responsibility. Companies can create shared value opportunities in three ways:

  1. redefining the products, services and the markets that you serve (Novartis example in the video)
  2. redefining the value chain (Nestlé and HP examples in the video)
  3. enabling cluster development

IMHO there are two things that annoy me in this idea.

First, there is a lot about ecology, about how companies reduced their waste footprint, how they (help) reduce energy consumption, etc. I know that the earth is facing huge ecological issues but I don’t think it’s necessary to create new words for the same ideas.

Then, I would like to see more example about cluster development. Not only read more example in current practise. But also see more companies applying this idea of cluster development. A company can easily act in order to get more reliable and more “sustainable” suppliers (again new words for a new idea?). Do you know examples of companies that successfully acted to get a functioning infrastructure of roads and telecommunications or to get an effective and predictable legal system and at the same time created value for itself? There is an example about Yara improving ports and roads in Mozambique and Tanzania to help delivery its fertilizers and agricultural products. Are public–private partnership some kind of cluster development too? Although done since many years, are private investments in public universities now also considered as cluster development?

The discussion at the end of the HBR article is also worth reading.

What is your opinion about that?

Fourth set of results in!

The results for Corporate and Managerial Responsibility (the course with the 2 graphs made more readable and the amoeba) are in!

Results of Corporate and Managerial Responsibility

This time, together with others, I spent quite some time on these papers and we thought we found interesting issues and metrics (it was a group paper on SWIFT + a personal one, a recommendation following the first paper). So I’m a bit surprised of my result: a B. Maybe I shouldn’t: at least 3 other group members have the same result (i.e. it’s maybe not related to the personal paper) and more than 60% of the class has a B. But having a B means being part of the worst students in the class (aaah: illusory superiority – look for “MBA” in the previous link ;) ). We’ll have to wait for the next session (i.e. January 13th, 2012) to receive feedback!

2 graphs from CMR made readable

A nice thing of having a copy of the slides during class is that you can take note directly on it (and take fewer notes and more quickly since most important points are already printed on the slides). The drawback is of course that each slide is very small. During the CMR (Corporate and Managerial Responsibility) classes for instance, we recently saw two of such slides.

The first slide is about sustainable development and the current development paradox. The slide shows a graph of the UN Human Development Index -vs- the ecological footprint (of countries). The goal is to show there is an ideal area where there is a high human development within the earth’s limits. But the printed slide is very small. One Wikipedia contributor kindly re-build the graph but you feel one can still do better. As always, it’s better to directly go back to the sources: the UNDP and the Global Footprint Network. The best starting point to explore this chart is this page from the GFN. But as usual you can find and explore these data with the excellent TrendAnalyzer tool from Gapminder.

TrendAnalyzer UN HDI -vs- ecological footprint

UN HDI -vs- ecological footprint of countries (highlighted countries are the international trip destinations for Vlerick PTMBA students)

The second slide is the roadmap to Vision2050 designed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This roadmap is again very small below (you can also click on the image to have a bigger one). But the report contains the full roadmap. And for those who thought the vision is a bit fluffy, the WBCSD also has a *huge* pathway mural with more details than the vision.

WBCSD Vision2050

WBCSD Vision2050

And for those who are really interested in this Vision2050, I invite you to the Closing Ceremony of the International Year of Chemistry, on December 1st 2011, in Brussels. There, among other things, “a team of young people/scientists will open a debate and introduce their expectations from the lifesciences and chemistry, industry and governments to build a better world in 2050” (disclaimer: I’m part of that team :)).

The amoeba!

Since the beginning I was eager to attend a course where the professor would talk about something biological. And we finally had such a class today! It was about the amoeba in Prof. Dr. Nigel Roome‘s first class on Corporate and managerial responsibility. There, corporate responsibility is somehow embedded in a pressure-state-response framework which actually is a model representation of the interaction an amoeba has with its environment.

An amoebaGreat! I was sure there was a link, somewhere :-)

Photo credit: amoeba from The Open University on Flickr (CC-by-nc-sa)

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