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Creating Social Value: A Guide for Leaders and Change Makers

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9781907643972: Creating Social Value: A Guide for Leaders and Change Makers
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There is a new business landscape, where companies are increasingly being judged on their ability to generate social value. But there is no off-the-shelf solution for the leaders and change makers in this new domain. Creating social value is a journey, and each company must chart its own path through uncertain and complex terrain. We invite you to discover how the entrepreneurial leaders profiled in this book have become trailblazers, using strategy and innovation to generate profits and social value simultaneously. Creating Social Value provides insights into the motivations and preoccupations of groundbreaking entrepreneurial leaders as they look to activate change not just within their companies, but also in their sectors, value chains and even through co-creating partnerships with their competitors. Such change requires fundamentally new styles of leadership and business design where companies seek to be generative rather than extractive. This book also bears witness to the emergence of new language to describe these innovative concepts. Working with and sharing ideas with social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs inside, the authors became aware of the building blocks of a new lexicon with the power to inspire and positively influence the culture of an organization. Many of the leaders included in this book have driven change by harnessing the power of language to reroute their company's direction. For example, The Campbell Soup Company has created destination goals to describe the long-term vision of the company to nourish its customers, employees and neighbors. Roshan has worked on nation building, creating physical infrastructure in Afghanistan, a country decimated by war. UPS has worked to understand its impact on the planet, building a materiality matrix of the issues that matter to its stakeholders, while working to create a culture that fosters social innovation and seeks to understand constructive dissatisfaction. Ford is redefining its mission, imagining a different future in which it provides mobility solutions, rather than only manufacturing cars. Ford is working with Toyota to co-create technologies to combat climate change. This book sets out a manifesto for Social Value Creation, which is defined as a strategy that combines a unique set of corporate assets (including innovation capacities, marketing skills, managerial acumen, employee engagement, scale) in collaboration with the assets of other sectors and firms to co-create breakthrough solutions to complex economic, social and environmental issues that impact the sustainability of both business and society. Social innovation differs from corporate responsibility in two significant ways: it is strategic and it leverages a wide range of corporate assets and core competencies. Creating Social Value has been designed as a manual for change. It will be essential reading for business students, entrepreneurs and all of those wishing to effect positive, generative change in larger organizations.

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Kiser and Leipziger with Shubert take us on a brief journey of corporate executive interviews, conducted by MBA students in The Babson Social Innovation Lab. Creating value is the responsibility of all business entities to its shareholders. This text acknowledges, without value creation as a fundamental outcome first and foremost, the 'social' aspect is left out to dry. Capitalist endeavors and self-interest have arguably been the most effective change driver or conversely prohibitor in our society. Coincidently, many of the social causes needing to be addressed today are by-products of such pursuits. This book suggests the creative retooling of tackling social causes. Methods for greater intrinsic value, affecting "bottom-line", gaining shareholder buy-in, and social impact being a result. In summary, the business exploration of profiting from social problem solving. The introduction lays out an idealistic description and framing of the elements for creating social value. The student, corporate leader, entrepreneur with a conscience will be moved by the definitions and manifests highlighting the crux of 'conscious capitalism'. Here we are introduced to newer words, terms and a jargon that has evolved from early workplace movements in philanthropy, corporate giving, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and now social value creation. The authors give a clear comparative chart of the differences between Traditional CSR and Social Innovation. Predicting the impending confusion by any that are familiar, yet not newly updated on business trends in this arena of capitalism for "doing good". Social innovation steers CSR back to the real business of business i.e. not volunteering your staff, but engaging in staff development, not spending on service providers, but gaining important partners. For the sustainability of social responsibility in business, it must achieve the status of a clearly objective system for strategic growth, with an assigned value. Sharing risk with strategically beneficial partners, opening new relevant markets, R&D, product refinement and delivering competitive advantages. The entrepreneurial mind or 'intra-preneur', in this text 'entrepreneur inside' is the leading character and skill-set for shining a creative lens on the problem. The entrepreneur, leader, social-practitioner, activist, or change maker innovates the basic corporate giving platform, to one that makes sense as an everyday function of growing the business. Transforming stakeholder concerns from a cost-center to a strategic mechanism for generating economic value is no easy task. There is a design, business model, and value proposition. The book showcases the executives responsible as sophisticated outliers and heroes, by virtue of depicting their corporate environments as landscapes filled with mines. Achieving change against-all-odds. The reliance on more art than science, could attribute to social value adoption barriers. Realizing alternatives' value, like social value, is difficult for a majority of corporate structures, because of their embedded dependency on linear thinking. I address this with what I term 'art-thinking' in business, an evolution of design-thinking process for corporations. For the discussion forum and department insight we are grateful. Being a guide for leaders and change makers is somewhat misleading, it is the story of. The text doesn't truly guide with any detail for the reader wanting to effect change. Case measurements or examples of metrics used are absent. Their importance in practice is implied throughout. For benefit corporate structures are mentioned, but their argument is not robust. B-Corp scores are illustrated for companies, without giving the reader easy reference to derive meaning of the numbers. Student questions are not purposefully digging deeper to uncover more insight, rather giving voice to reiterate what was already messaged. The interconnectivity of our economies and environmental issues make a strong case for the need to what this book calls, 'co-leading' or in layman's terms collaborate. Ford and Toyota, competitors collaborating on developing hybrid technology is given as an example. Understanding social problems takes vast exploration and witnessing from many perspectives. Defining what is a 'social' problem is imperative to whether companies or individuals are designing anything worthwhile, positively affecting quality of human life. To determine social value within the silo of a single business, culture of people, geographic region, or any other constraining viewpoint, is potentially missing the mark. Cross-sector functionality, the authors' reference to IBM's term 'sector-blur' in doing business, is a positive advancement in the innovation process with sticking power. The companies highlighted, BiddingForGood, Campbell Soup Company, Ford Motor Company, Greyston Bakery, IBM, Preserve, Roshan, School House, Target, UPS and Verizon all provide the reader slits into various models developed. Creating social value is solidified by this book as an early study in business. The challenges of creating objective measures for objective seeking investors glares as a major hurdle in the nuanced and often subjective pursuit of doing good. What is almost a law like takeaway from this read is, doing well is the precursor for doing good. To affect social change with substantial results, we must figure out how to make this a simultaneous pursuit in everyday business. MBA students, those aspiring to c-suite heights, entrepreneurs and even social-practice artists would benefit to examine the pages of this book, for its perspectives and questions it leads the reader to. Should corporations be in the pursuit of creating social value? The book aggregates these individual projects into an interesting topic. All good organizations and managers will seek to adopt or adapt best practices. This warrants the need to have a unified construct of Creating Social Value that transposes the waters and all sectors, much like the methodology Total Quality Management (TQM) entered the corporate play book. -- Neil Ramsay, Consultant, Creative Economics Kiser and Leipziger have assembled an impressive set of corporate leaders to share their accounts of how they have come to recognize and employ the connections between business value and social impact to positively differentiate their companies. The appearance of business students as interlocutors takes the story narratives in unexpected directions at times, which makes the book even more interesting to read and offers insight not only into the current generation of leaders but also into the next. This is a must-read for those who seek to deepen understanding about the potential of business to achieve social good. -- Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director, The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

About the Author:

Cheryl Kiser is the Executive Director of The Lewis Institute and Babson Social Innovation Lab, leading Babson's work in integrating social innovation and social relevance into its curriculum and co-curricular activities. Cheryl is also the co-creator of Food Sol, an "action tank" dedicated to using the power of entrepreneuring to redesign the food system. Before coming to Babson, Cheryl spent more than 12 years as Managing Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, playing a central role in creating the largest research center of its kind. Cheryl has always positioned herself at the intersection of public policy, private enterprise, and community. She is a leader in corporate social responsibility and social innovation, and has won awards for her public affairs campaigns. Deborah Leipziger is an author, consultant, and professor in the field of social value creation. She is a Senior Fellow at the Lewis Institute at Babson and serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Simmons School of Management. She advises companies around the world on human rights issues and played a key role in the development of several key standards, including Social Accountability 8000. She is the author of several key books in the field of CSR and Sustainability, including The Corporate Responsibility Code Book. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese. J. Janelle Shubert is an Adjunct Lecturer at Babson. Prior to coming to Babson she had spent almost thirty years in university teaching and administration. This included work at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (1992-2004), London Business School (Visiting faculty 1990-1992), Harvard University's Business School (1986-1990), Harvard University's Program on Negotiation (1985-1986) and the University of Michigan (1978-1985). A consultant for over three decades, working with public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, Shubert also served for four years as a senior member of a consulting group dedicated specifically to helping organizations enhance the leadership development of their most talented senior women.

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