Business 2.0, Sustainability

Definition of shared value

This is a cross-posting of a post originally published on the IDX Backstage blog. Note that Ben from SVA has commented on the original post.

Over at the SVA Blog Ben McAlpine asks the question Shared Value – Is it worth the hype?.

Specifically, he notes a colleague asking how Shared Value is different to “smart business”.

Shared Value, is of course, smart business. But Ben’s description of Shared Value I think has an issue that I see in an awful lot in discussions about the topic. It touches on only the first of 3 pillars that are outlined in Porter and Kramer’s HBR paper that launched the term into the business mindset.

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Quick note on strategy vs. tactics

It may seem fairly straightforward, but in a few recent conversations/engagements I’ve noted diverging opinions of what is considered “strategy” versus “tactics”. Damian Damjanovski posted last year on the same challenge (so it would appear I’m not alone in this experience).

In the midst of undertaking some reading for my masters studies, I came across this definition in ‘Strategies for change’ (Connor, PE, Lake, LK & Stackman, RW 2003) citing Robert Lauer, which I thought was pretty succinct (and similar in intent to Damian’s definition:

a strategy is “the general design or plan of action,” whereas tactics are “the concrete and specific actions that flow from the strategy.” While strategies evolve [more slowly] over time, tactics can change quickly, being added or dropped as the strategy for change is implement.

Just wanted to collect it here for future (publicly accessible) reference…