Creating and Measuring Shared Value: What’s so different about it?

This post originally appeared on Intel's CSR@Intel blog.

At the annual Net Impact Conference held recently, we had the opportunity to participate in a shared value panel discussion centered on understanding how companies are deploying the concept of shared value, including new methodology on measuring shared value, developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter and FSG.

A room filled with inspiring MBA students, eager to take on the major challenges of the world, were very anxious to hear from companies on how shared valued was working in each organization. Bob Corcoran from GE, Kathy Brown from Verizon, and myself, who made up the panel – were in agreement that our journey towards creating shared value and being able to measure it effectively is still in its early stages and is one of intentionality to further drive social improvements with an integrated business model.

The question on the minds of most students was a deep desire to understand and mentally map the advantages of this new shared value model versus existing sustainability and CSR strategies, i.e.  “How does shared value differ and what is the value companies expect to receive by shifting to this new framework?”  These are natural questions for anyone approaching change and implementing new strategies.

At Intel, we have processed in detail this very question.  We define “corporate responsibility” or “CSR” as an integrated business approach that creates value for both society and for Intel by managing risks and embracing opportunities arising from global economic, environmental and social trends and developments.  We approach corporate responsibility such that it covers a portfolio of activities, from strategic philanthropy and the work of the Intel Foundation, to our efforts to develop new products and solutions to address global challenges such as education and climate change.  It is also integrated into our company’s overall vision and strategy – Intel’s vision over the next decade is to “create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.”

We see the application of shared value methodology as a unique opportunity to further unleash business and social value by approaching these huge challenges through a different lens and achieve our company’s vision by bringing the core of our business to bear on solving global challenges. We believe that shared value provides a useful framework with the potential to enhance our ability to:  

  1. Strategize with more focused intentionality around achieving both business and social value simultaneously.
  2. Collaborate and multiply results by bringing together internal and external stakeholders to find new ways to unlock the full suite of our capabilities and assets in solving global challenges.
  3. Develop Shared Value Metrics to inform critical business decisions and strategies that result in deeper social and business value creation.

We are excitedly at the beginning of our shared value metrics journey and see next steps as working diligently on developing strategies and metrics to put this methodology to work. We’ll update you periodically with our key lessons learned. Critical to any change of magnitude is learning and unlearning. We are on a path to doing just that.

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