We are experiencing a revolutionary era in which business engagement is becoming essential in addressing today’s most complex global issues. In a 2011 groundbreaking article*, Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer popularised the concept of ‘Shared Value’, paving the way for a new way of thinking in regard to the way businesses are creating value.
A global trend in business thinking
The central idea behind the ‘creating shared value’ concept is the interdependency between the competitiveness of a company and the health of the communities to which it is connected. In the words of the authors, this new approach, that goes beyond the notion of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, can help ‘reinvent capitalism and unleash a wave of innovation and growth’.
Shared value is a management strategy focused on companies creating measurable business value by identifying and addressing social problems that intersect with their business. The shared value framework creates new opportunities for companies, civil society organizations, and governments to leverage the power of market-based competition in addressing social problems.
Why is Mazars committed to this cause?
Because it is at the core of our identity.
Ethics and contributing to the common good have been major priorities throughout Mazars’ long history. Integrity and responsibility have been part of Mazars’ DNA since its creation; sharing is one of our four founding values (cf. Mazars Yearbook 2015, ‘Tribute to Robert Mazars’, p. 10).
Because it is in line with the very nature of our business activity.
As auditors and advisors, we interact directly with key players in all sorts of industries. We are therefore uniquely positioned to understand the trends affecting the whole economy, and to envision how an ecosystem approach can help businesses create value for all their stakeholders. Business. For Good™ (Mazars’ Yearbook 2015, p. 28) is our global initiative that encourages business leaders to ‘think and act long-term’ in order to enhance business performance and pursue profit responsibly for the mutual benefit of companies, their stakeholders and society at large.
Because we want to keep on improving our own model.
Taking in consideration the needs, expectations and demands of all stakeholders is key to building a sustainable business model. It is a trend being fuelled by several initiatives that are gaining momentum in the business community, such as Creating Shared Value, Integrated Thinking and Integrated Reporting (cf. our Integrated Reporting Approach : Mazars’ Yearbook 2015, p. 54).
Because we can have an impact locally and globally.
Creating Shared Value brings concrete changes for the better in the communities where we do business and beyond. We want to be change agents for this movement. We want to reflect upon, question, weigh in on and help shape a better society.
This is only the beginning. There is much more work to be done.
* Creating Shared Value: Redefining Capitalism and the Role of the Corporation in Society. Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2011, Vol. 89 Issue 1/2, p. 62-77