First they ignore you, then they laugh at you,
then they fight you, then it appears in the Harvard Business Review,
and then you win while Harvard claims it was their idea…
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (apocryphal)
The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value
The capitalist system is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community.
Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle. [Emphasis added.]
Phi Beta Iota: Legitimacy is the foundation of good order and commerce. That Harvard is beginning to get this is a very good sign. The authors also skirt the most interesting point, which is that “who does what” is changing, and we (this they do not address) are moving toward HYBRID networks that accomplish things together, on the basis of SHARED INFORMATION and consensus sense-making. When Alvin Toffler introduced in detail the concept of PowerShift, the most powerful concept he brought forward was that of information being a substitute for time, space, capital, and labor–and violence over the same–he was setting the stage for moving beyond the age of date or information, and into the age of cyber-collaboration to create shared value–what one author calls Non-Zero. NOW we are finally starting to get somewhere…toward what Tom Altee calls Evolutionary Activism driven by advanced cyber-information operations: creating shared value begins with creating shared information.