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Value for All: A Corporate Constitution

How many times do we hear in corporate and financial circles that we need to be providing value to our shareholders?  It’s a fundamental part of capitalism.

But the global financial crisis has caused a fundamental shift toward what we call “value for all.”  In our social world, where anyone with a computer or smartphone has a voice, companies and brands have to prove they are creating value for all stake-holders not just shareholders.

Of course, as companies emerge from the crisis, they are thinking hard about the numbers and profitability. But the bottom line is increasingly aligned with public perception and sentiment. We think the most successful companies in the post-crisis world will be able to demonstrate the following core values:

  • Transparency. Be genuine and trustworthy. Work in the public’s best interest ad you’ll be rewarded. Fail to do so, and the public will get angry. (Think how banks’ quick return to profits and bonuses caused an uproar and continued the erosion of trust.)
  • Sustainability. Show a responsible attitude regarding the environment and people, starting with your employees first. Short-term business tactics don’t work anymore. Performance without purpose has no future.
  • Accountability. Make sure that your products, services, policies and corporate governance are clean and reliable. This is true whether you’re a government, company, or non-profit organization.
  • Proximity. Be close to the communities around you; show them your commitment and concern.

This last point reflects key findings from our friends at Yankelovich. Of US consumers, 73% say they make an effort to support local neighborhood businesses and consumers tend to think that buying local is good citizenship.

In our next blog post, we will explore “Performance with Purpose” and what it means for your brand.

For more information on developing a “value for all” strategy, please contact Pascal Beucler, chief strategy office at MSLGROUP. or +33 1 57 32 86 66.

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