Lilly’s Tradition of a Shared Value Approach

By David Marbaugh
May 13, 2014 9:30 AM ET


Craig Waugh is the Global Leader, Lilly NCD Partnership, Lilly Global Health

This week, I have the honor of attending the annual Shared Value Leadership Summit in New York City. I call it an honor because we at Lilly like to believe that our founder, Colonel Eli Lilly, was a proponent of “shared value” as a business strategy 130 years before Michael E. Porter and Mark Kramer so eloquently crafted and popularized the concept. 

Back in 1876, the market was dominated by sideshow hucksters, hawking poorly prepared and often ineffective medicines. Colonel Lilly resolved to start a pharmaceutical company to manufacture high-quality products that would be scientifically proven to help people. To put it in Porter and Kramer’s terms, he recognized that societal needs can define markets, and therefore, beyond the immediate goal of earning a profit, Lilly would focus on creating products that would “expand the total pool of economic and social value”. 

To learn more about Lilly's shared value approach to business, please read our blog.