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Helen Steel To Speak On Shared Value At CXBank$

We are thrilled to announce that Helen Steel, Chief Executive Officer of the Shared Value Project will speak at CXBank$. Helen will bring to the discussion practical ways the Financial Services Sector can become more involved in solving financial abuse issues impacting Domestic and Family Violence Victims/Survivors.

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Shared Value Project, Helen is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of the Shared Value Project. She engages with the organisation’s key stakeholders and members to lead, foster, promote, and influence the development of shared value in Australia.

Helen has been instrumental in the establishment of the organisation from its conception, and has played a critical role in driving adoption and implementation of shared value strategies among leading companies in Australia.

Helen brings 20 years of experience and leadership across government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors to this role. With an extraordinary scope of work in international business development, stakeholder engagement, membership campaigns, strategic collaboration,

events management and cultural and knowledge exchange programs, Helen is known for her ability to harness opportunities and build networks of influence to shape positive


What Is Shared Value?

Shared value is a business strategy which delivers on purpose and profit simultaneously.

It does this by leveraging the resources and innovation of the private sector to create new solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues. In doing so, it creates a more prosperous environment in which to operate, making business more sustainable and resilient.

An academic concept

Originally an academic concept, the idea was co-created by Harvard Business School Professors Michael Porter and Mark R. Kramer and was introduced in 2011 in the Harvard Business Review article ‘Creating Shared Value.’

The essay sparked a global movement to redefine the role of business in society around a simple but powerful idea: a company’s success and social progress are interdependent. This article was the winner of the 2011 McKinsey Award.

Top takeaways

Creating shared value is the practice of creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.

Shared value is not corporate social responsibility or philanthropy—creating shared value is at the core of the business strategy.

The establishment of shared value came after the global financial crisis, when capitalism and the reputation of business were under siege. Shared value made the radical proposition that corporate success and improved social and environmental conditions are in fact inherently linked – and when achieved together, they could dramatically enhance our future prosperity. The concept has since been adopted by global business.

Shared value in practice

Shared value is all about doing business differently – in a way the rest of the market is not.

To create shared value, a company must transform its business model into a self-resourcing value creation model; where it is designed to solve social challenges through the business itself. Shared value policies and principles can be adopted by Government and not-for-profits too; both of which can serve as valuable partners in delivering reliable and meaningful change at scale.

There are three key ways that shared value is achieved:

Reconceiving products and markets

Creating new products and services for existing or new markets which better serve societal needs.

Redefining productivity in the value chain

Accessing and using resources, energy, suppliers, logistics and employees differently, and more productively

Enabling local cluster development

Improving the local operating environment by supporting skill-development and capacity-building

The benefits of shared value

Socially and environmentally, shared value can vastly improve the conditions in which we live – advancing community health, education, employment, service access and participation; and helping to conserve our wildlife and wild environments.

The economic benefits afforded by shared value are also numerous, and include, but are not limited to:

Self-sustaining purpose and profitability

Stronger brand equity and marketability

Increased customer preference and loyalty

Higher advocacy, retention and productivity among employees

Resilience against external business threats

Regained credibility among a disillusioned public

Enhanced or sustained interest from like-minded shareholders and investors

Shared value in the Asia Pacific

Shared value has gained significant momentum across the region in recent years. So much so, that Professor Porter describes the Asia Pacific community as being “at the epicentre of shared value globally today”.

Since Shared Value Project’s inception in 2014, the organisation's membership base has tripled to almost 40 organisations, including NAB, AIA, IAG, Enel Green Power, H&H Group and Optus. In the same time period, these members of the Shared Value Project reported a 12% average increase in gross profit during membership.

In 2018, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink called on all companies to explain how their businesses make “a positive contribution to society” beyond their financial performance, arguing that “to prosper over time … companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”

In 2019, he reiterated the sentiment with greater urgency:

“Unnerved by fundamental economic changes and the failure of government to provide lasting solutions, society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues.”

Governments and not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) are increasingly resource constrained and cannot solve all social problems on their own. With the breadth and depth of social issues in Australia, these problems are bigger than any single entity can address on their own. Indeed, like many countries where the government is the sole arbiter and remediator of social issues, it is not sustainable for businesses to directly cause or exacerbate these issues.

Could business become more involved in creating shared value and work to address empowering victims/survivors of Domestic and Family Violence and Abuse to reclaim their lives? Financial safety plays an important part in recovery from accessing adequate psychological treatment to assistance with homes loans, income protection and indeed support for vulnerable survivors who are struggling in sexually transmitted debt.

Can the finance sector help, that's the question we pose to Helen at CXBank$, October 10, World Mental Health Day.

Learn More About Shared Value In Australia

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