Last week, I was in Sydney for our 6th Consulting Affiliate training program, co-presented with our regional partner, the Shared Value Project. This was our first training in Australia, where the shared value concept has picked up great momentum in the past two years among companies, NGOs, and donors.
When we delivered our first affiliate training in Boston back in May 2013, we focused on the “what” -- sharing what companies were doing in order to illustrate the concept itself. Nearly 3 years, 5 more trainings, and more than 100 participants later, the curriculum is now much more deeply oriented around the “how” – unpacking methodologies developed by FSG and other affiliated consulting firms. More than in previous trainings, we explored what enables companies to create shared value – both at the enterprise level and in larger systems.
What made this latest training so special was the geographic focus of cross-sector participants and shared concerns in the APAC region. All participants work in Australia, yet are oriented around different roles: as consultants, corporate practitioners, NGOs, donors, and research institutions. Therefore, in addition to the knowledge exchange that we typically infuse in our trainings and the Consulting Affiliate Network, we also explored tangible opportunities to collaborate and take action.
As always, we were fortunate to be able to call upon several terrific guest speakers, including Sam Moore of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Margaret Stuart of Nestlé Oceania, Ramana James of IAG, Rhod Ellis-Jones of Ellis-Jones Consulting, Phil Preston of The Collaborative Advantage, and Melinda Leth of EY. My incredible co-host was Helen Steel, Executive Director of the Shared Value Project, who has worked tirelessly to build awareness and advance practice of shared value in the region.
Our participants included representatives from:
- Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR), which provides research, training, and consulting services on responsible business strategies and productive stakeholder relationships
- Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which oversees $4Bn (AUS) in development assistance annually and engages with the private sector to help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous.
- Australian Red Cross runs blood services, first aid projects, disaster and emergency services and education services, and raises public awareness of critical issues in the region
- IAG, a general insurance group selling insurance in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia under many leading brands, with 15,000 employees and $11.4Bn (AUS) in premium underwriting annually
- NAB (National Australia Bank), a financial services organization with over 12.7 million customers and 42,000 employees, operating more than 1,700 branches and business banking centers globally
- Republic of Everyone, a team of creatives and sustainability consultants that works with companies, brands, and NGOs
- Social Atlas, a consulting firm which facilitates shared value partnerships across corporate, government and the not-for-profit sectors
- Social Scaffolding, a consulting firm that supports nonprofits and corporations in effective collaboration, sustainable business models, and shared value
- Spark Strategy, a social business advisory firm that specializes in Profit for Purpose business models
- The Palladium Group, a global development and strategy consulting firm working with corporate and government clients to create positive impact
- ThinkPlace, a design firm that advises people in complex public systems, employing design and systems thinking in their approach; client projects have included work in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, India, and the Pacific Islands
- University of Sydney Business School, a world-class business school at the forefront of global business and management education whose alumni rank amongst the top tier of Australian and global business leaders
- Shared Value Project
As I expressed at the end of the 3rd day of our training, I can’t wait to return to Australia and revisit the exciting evolution of shared value that’s taking place there. For now, I will have to be a little envious of my colleagues who will attend the Shared Value Project’s 2016 Shared Value Forum on April 13, 2016 in Melbourne!
Congratulations and welcome to the latest cohort of certified shared value consultants and practitioners.