Corporate and NFP Engagement Requires 'Patience'
Wednesday, 14th November 2012 at 12:17 pm
World Vision's chief executive Tim Costello addresses the Creation of Shared Value forum in Melbourne.
Photo: Damien Currie
Corporates wanting to form partnerships with Not for Profits to achieve ‘shared value’ need to be patient and understand that achieving success in these relationships is not a “big bang”, a senior Not for Profit leader has told a forum in Melbourne.
The Chief Executive of World Vision Australia Tim Costello joined the co-author of the “Creation of Shared Value” concept Mark Kramer at a one day forum to discuss the benefits of corporations working with NGOs and NFPs.
The key objective of the forum was to discuss beneficial ways to achieve common goals and shared value that are mutually sustainable and beneficial for corporates and Not for Profits.
“There are many benefits to be gained from working together, being open to new ways of working and learning with and from each other,” Costello said.
“Our key asset is that we know communities, we know many of them intimately and have established relationships of trust and cooperation.”
Kramer describes Shared Value as 'policies and operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions of the communities in which it operates'.
Costello said that shared value was an alignment between a Not for Profit and a business for social good, describing it as a ‘song’.
“It’s not in our nature to try to wave magic wands and change the world on our own. We know we don’t own the places where we work. Our whole purpose is to partner, we’ve done it from the day we were born.”
According to Costello the principles that consistently underpin good sustainable partnerships are:
- That transparency leads to trust
- That partners come together as equals – whatever side of the sectoral fence they’re on, whatever their size – and they share their complementary resources
- Benefit is real, significant and mutual – win-win for all stakeholders
However, Costello said that these relationships won’t happen straight away.
“We need to be patient and understand that creating shared value is not a ‘big bang’ – it’s not about a cataclysmic event that changes everything overnight,” he said.
“It is about moving one step at a time – engaging in dialogue, starting interesting conversations, building our understanding of each other bit by bit.
“Creating shared value may be a long and winding road. Sometimes the terrain can be rough. There might be a few mirages as we go. But the rewards of working together are worth it.”