Creating Shared Value – What Does it Really Mean?

Blog by Deborah Rozman, President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.)
May 26, 2011 8:00 AM ET

Written by Deborah Rozman, President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba Heart…

Successful collaborations are built upon shared values of respect, care, integrity and heart connection between people. This is true whether the collaboration is between shareholder and CEO, managers and teams, or between companies. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not just heady ideas and metrics; it’s about heartfelt connections that empower, and somehow we need to capture that in our metrics. 

In their controversial article, “The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value” (Harvard Business Review Jan-Feb 2011), Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer state that businesses still “continue to view value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while missing the most important customer needs and ignoring the broader principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.” They go on to say, “Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.” Their article has engendered controversy because many believe that CSR embraces that same definition of “shared value.”   We agree with an important distinction that Porter and Kramer are highlighting when they say “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 for profit/nonprofit 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.Shared Value is more than a score card of social and environmental performance, transparency in governance, local purchasing practices and beneficial impact. Shared value is based on shared values.   Read more of Creating Shared Value – What Does it Really Mean?   Deborah Rozman is President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.) and serves on the advisory board of the Institute of HeartMath. Quantum Intech, with its scientifically validated HeartMath® programs, is a world leader in personal and organizational stress reduction. HeartMath provides individuals and businesses with a set of tools, methods and emWave technologies to empower themselves to navigate through stressful, changing times. HeartMath programs have enabled organizations to achieve a 2:1 ROI in lowered health costs within one year – while at the same time increasing employee satisfaction and performance. The aggregate savings – and additional returns from enhanced performance – add up fast, creating a significant value proposition for companies and society as a whole.   Quantum Intech also has a strong reputation as a socially responsible and triple bottom line company in partnership with the 501(c)3 non-profit stress research organization, Institute of HeartMath, which provides HeartMath’s stress solutions to the underserved, including schools, community service organizations and veterans.