/ 7 September 2021

Innovating for scale and equality

In this time of Covid-19, organisations have had to adapt and innovate as never before. There was no instruction manual to provide guidance on how to handle a place of work that was totally transformed. There were no research papers or insights — or even models that were previously applied — that could be accessed. Leaders had to embrace agile, flexible planning; make quick decisions; lead organisations; and manage people under circumstances they never could have imagined.

In this current, precarious state of our economies, CEOs have had to build nerves of steel, make some gutsy decisions and continue to focus on long-term growth despite immediate challenges. Throughout history we have seen charismatic leaders across the world who have inspired millions of people to change the planet for the better. As Shared Value advocates, we believe that all leaders have a responsibility to contribute towards creating a more equal society, where all can prosper. 

The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative. This year, the Shared Value Business Management concept marks 10 years since the now famous Creating Shared Value article was first published in the Harvard Business Review. The concept was created and developed by renowned academics and economists Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer from Harvard Business School.

The SVAI’s mandate is to advocate for the private sector adoption of the Shared Value Business Management concept, which motivates businesses to simultaneously create economic value and value for society and the environment — profit with purpose. As advocates, we strongly believe that business mindsets need to shift from a profit-only focus and operate on a basis of creating value and prosperity for all.

The upcoming CEO Connect (on 30 September, 12:30 – 14:30 CAT) will once again convene leaders from the Shared Value community to discuss the importance of innovation in their organisations and how they as leaders are encouraging and scaling innovation that can lead to achieving a more equal society.

Fifi Peters from CNBC Africa will moderate the session, which will begin with a recap of the last CEO Connect (held on 4 June) by Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, CEO, Allianz Nigeria Insurance. The participating CEOs represent a cross-sector of industries and include:  

Mxolisi Mgojo, CEO Exxaro; Shameel Joosub, Group CEO, Vodacom; Carole Kariuki, CEO, Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA); Racey Muchilwa, Country President & Head, Novartis Sub-Saharan Africa; and Nichole Yembra, CEO, The Chrysalis Co. Professor Chris Ogebie, Dean of Lagos Business School, will close the session with an overview of the discussion. 

Esteemed business leaders and CEOs participating in the roundtable will unpack the theme “Innovating for scale and equality”. This will include exploration of varying topics, such as how the private sector can facilitate innovation on the continent, as well as how business leaders can influence the creation of a more inclusive, equitable society.

The SVAI is the host of the CEO Connect webinar as part of the lead-up to the 2021 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit, which will take place as a hybrid event, and broadcast live across Africa from 8 to 9 November.

One Africa One Voice is the theme for the summit, the live portion of which will be hosted out of Johannesburg, South Africa. The SVAI remains grateful for the support from the Shared Value community, particularly the sponsors of the summit: Absa, Old Mutual Ltd, Abbott Laboratories, Enel Green Power and Kenya Airways. Their support demonstrates that leading organisations are committed to ensuring that Shared Value remains at the core of the discourse on Africa’s economic and social growth.

For more information and to register for the CEO Connect (30 September), click here.

Access to the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit is free. For more information and to register, please click here

About Shared Value Africa Initiative: The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI), is a pan-African organisation that advocates for the adoption of Shared Value Business Management across the African continent. The SVAI is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative created by economists Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer of the Harvard Business School. The SVAI’s objective is to cultivate a Shared Value ecosystem and facilitate and orchestrate collaborative private sector relationships that, as a collective, will bring about change at scale. https://svai.africa

About Shift Impact Africa: Shift Impact Africa, the organisers of the Summit, is a Shared Value advisory, training and consulting firm that assists organisations with developing and implementing a Shared Value strategy that works for them. Frequently, companies are not sure how to move from purely profit-focused to demonstrating their responsibility towards their environment and society. Shift Impact Africa assists clients with identifying social challenges relevant to the business, and helping to implement the Shared Value Business Management strategy focused on sustainability, social and environmental impact. https://shiftimpact.africa 

More information on the Summit programme and speakers is available at www.africasharedvaluesummit.com