Creating Shared Value
In my view, shared value starts with the sharing of values, such as care, respect, integrity, kindness and maintaining a heart connection between people. Shared value is the foundation of community building, within a family, school, organization or society. Once there is heart connection, then inspiration, creativity, collaboration and value creation for the good of the whole can manifest.
Many social entrepreneurs are giving a higher priority today to the principle of “shared value,” which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. Many conscious consumers are also giving priority to shared value by buying local (even if it costs more) to give back to their community or purchasing products from companies that give back to their communities.
A Harvard Business Review Jan-Feb 2011 article says, “Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.” They add that, “Realizing it [shared value] will require leaders and managers to develop new skills and knowledge – such as a far deeper appreciation of societal needs, a greater understanding of the true bases of company productivity, and the ability to collaborate across profit/nonprofit boundaries.”
In our nonprofit/for profit collaboration between the Institute of HeartMath research and educational 501(c)3 organization and Quantum Intech Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.), we have studied and implemented shared value practices since 1991. We found that sustaining the heart-connection needed for effective community building requires people learning to manage their internal energies. In fact, internal energy management is as important to value creation as external energy management. Most of the blocks to connecting with the hearts of others (or with our own deeper heart) are constructed by judgments, blame, jealousy, selfish ambition, comparisons and other energy draining attitudes and behaviors. Whether vented or repressed, these internal energy blocks impede community building and value creation.
At HeartMath, we realized that most individuals and organizations do not have tools to manage internal energies that lead to stress overwhelm and dysfunction. So, we researched and developed tools and practices to help leaders, organizations and communities de-stress and manifest their values of care, respect, compassion and integrity for shared value creation resulting in greater outcomes.
Below is a video of a HeartMath nonprofit project to help nourish the heart of communities. Our June theme for Nourishing the Heart will be on heart-based living. We welcome your comments on that theme and questions you’d like us to discuss.