In spring 2011, the Harvard Business Review – the world’s most renowned management magazine – published perhaps its most groundbreaking article since the magazine’s first issue appeared. It was none other than distinguished Harvard professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer who challenged the core principles of successful business in their leader from the 1/2011 issue: "How to fix capitalism and unleash a new wave of growth". The article provided a virtually revolutionary approach for a new age of entrepreneurship and clearly illustrated that companies will only be successful in the future if they assume (once again) a sincere responsibility within society as well as add real value for the customer, for employees and for the greater business environment in which the company is active.
"Shared value is not about personal values. Nor is it about "sharing" the value already created by firms – a so-called redistribution approach. Instead, it is about expanding the total pool of economic and social value." (MICHAEL PORTER AND MARK KRAMER)
The leading principle of the Shared Value concept
The underlying purpose of a company must not lie in a one-sided sense of maximizing advantage. It is more important that entrepreneurial activities focus on both economic as well as socially relevant values. Something only has real value if it benefits everyone involved and has none of the typically negative effects for society and the environment. The tired argument from business that “We create jobs, pay taxes, abide by the law, donate money to charity, etc.” comes up conspicuously short in this context. It is an expression of reactionary thinking and indicates a clear orientation to an attitude of damage control and compensation. Shared Value, on the other hand, means that companies actively create value for society and in doing so make themselves “more valuable”.
Numerous success stories – starting with Nestlè – highlight the fact that this “fresh” understanding of entrepreneurship possesses meaningful and sustainable potential for differentiation accompanied by significant growth. The impressive work of Michael Porter and Mark Kramer explicitly shows that an increased awareness of the need for social change will provide companies with tangibly better chances of recognizing future growth markets earlier and thus successfully exploiting them. From our perspective, it is increasingly vital to the success of a company to anticipate the future with informed visions of how that may look.
As a central point of departure when modeling business logic, the goal at IMP is therefore to combine the basic elements of Shared Value logic with the development of visions of the future that are relevant to the company That means, the art of strategy work lies in applying a coherent, unique and sustainable business logic to the BUSINESS MODEL ARCHITECTURE >