Michael Porter

Measuring Shared Value...minus the measuring


In the January-February 2011 edition of HBR, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer made the case for shared value. As a consultant to companies on innovation and social impact, this was one of the most welcome articles I have read in the past several years. When - arguably - the biggest name in the study of management lends his voice to the case for social good AND shows correlation to profitability, people listen.

Unlocking the Value Chain for Global Development


In his 1985 book, “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance,” Michael Porter introduced the concept of the value chain. He saw it as a fundamental issue for business—how to influence every facet of business operations in such a way that they create more value than the cost of creating those outputs and maximize profit margin.

So What About the Board?


It’s now a year since Michael Porter famously threw down his gauntlet by announcing from on high that all value needed to be Shared Value. That, as I wrote last year, we are moving into the Third Age of corporate-social relations. From old-style “philanthropy” – typically disbursed after corporate titans had made their pile -- to “corporate social responsibility”; from fairtrade to subtler alignments of brand and charitable effort; to something approaching the end of CSR and its sublimation into a revolutionary reshaping of mainstream business strategy.

One of Our Greatest Business Gurus Redefines Capitalism. Perhaps.


There’s been a lot of talk about the “new CSR” – corporate social responsibility as something other than philanthropic giveaways with an eye on looking good. Which may be an unfair way to characterize corporate engagement in social good over the years – from Rowntree to Hershey to Tata – but the split between gross generosity after the fact (Carnegie will always be the best/worst example) and marginal generosity during, has been almost universal.

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