Shared value measurement still a challenge

Devex Impact Associate Editor Adva Saldinger interviews Mark Kramer, founder and managing director of FSG, about the challenges in shared value adoption.

Adopting a shared value strategy is no easy business.

Even the most mature and systematized of companies struggle with the measurement component of shared value, according to Mark Kramer, founder and managing director of the social change focused consultancy FSG.

“It’s about tracking the results, both the business benefits and the social benefits, and then understanding the linkage between the two so you can optimize the link,” he told Devex in a recent video interview. However, “getting the measurement piece is something that we see even the most advanced companies struggling with.”

Overcoming that requires a shift in the way measuring progress is assessed, away from the traditional mindset of a single investment yielding a single outcome.

“It creates a false burden on measurement if you feel you have to prove attribution,” Kramer noted.

One successful shift that is underway is the evolving trust between business and civil society that allows shared value to thrive. Increasingly, Kramer said, the ingrained assumption that business is the enemy and nongovernmental organizations the watchdog is being replaced by one of mutual interest toward market-driven solutions.

Watch the video above to know more about how Kramer, who co-wrote the seminal paper that coined the term shared value, views shared value today.

Devex, in partnership with the Shared Value Initiative, FSG and Global Impact, is examining how the world’s largest international nongovernmental organizations are transitioning their partnership strategies from traditional corporate partnerships to more scalable initiatives. We’ll look at how these initiatives accelerate both social impact and a business return on investment, while highlighting engagement in shared value during this special series “The Future of International NGOs.” Join the conversation using #FutureINGO.

About the author

  • Naki B. Mendoza

    Naki is a former reporter, he covered the intersection of business and international development. Prior to Devex he was a Latin America reporter for Energy Intelligence covering corporate investments and political risks in the region’s energy sector. His previous assignments abroad have posted him throughout Europe, South America, and Australia.