Rethink Capitalism!

New shared value
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Last year this interview of Michael Porter, the famous business strategy professor of the Harvard University, was published. Here he is talking about a new model of capitalism that includes social values. I want to highlight this topic here on our new website, because I think and hope that his

Last year this interview of Michael Porter, the famous business strategy professor of the Harvard University, was published. Here he is talking about a new model of capitalism that includes social values. I want to highlight this topic here on our new website, because I think and hope that his vision will influence the businesses world in future. And it will also be up to us as Innovation Managers to reshape the business landscape for the better.

 

In his interview he points out an ongoing shift in capitalism. He describes the model of a fusion of social value and business profits. He reckons that instead of thinking “What is good for business, is good for society” it makes more sense to think “What is good for society, is good for business”. Rather than selling products that people don’t really need, he suggests selling products that are good for people. That, he says will ultimately end in an economic value. In future the purpose of companies should be to mobilise economics for solving global human problems. As a result businesses can create a new shared value that fulfill the needs of all stakeholders. But where to start a business to follow this vision? Porter suggests analysing the supply chain of your business and think about the point at which the company fulfills a social need and set a focus on this. If there is no point – create one! If you don’t, your business won’t succeed in future. As a driver for an increasing demand for products that offer an environmental or a social benefit for society, Porter names the increasing awareness in sociey and politics. I agree with Porter that shared value, or rather the triple bottom line is the way to a future-oriented business.

 

Of course capitalism keeps our system running and has to be stable to ensure high standards of health, education and living. But I think there is a big opportunity to reshape the integrated value system of businesses to drive an even bigger system. And of course it is for the consumer to really push this change as well. But to do so he has to be aware of it and be offered solutions to act sustainable. Here is where an Innovation Manager can interact. It will not be possible to stop consumption, but definitely to change it. By questioning consumption habits and the criteria under which we as consumers choose products, the market will change. I think we are part of a big revolution—revolutions in social structures, power systems and technology. Especially for our course I see it as necessary to be aware of all these shifts and changes and discuss them. A big thanks to the developers.