Businesses that are building sustainable competitive advantage by doing good for society (Case Study)
IBM: Building a Smarter Planet.
IBM have recognised that by using their core competencies as a systems, consulting and IT company they can help solve some of the worlds most pressing and biggest problems. Things like congestion, pollution and overcrowding. BY partnering with other forward thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world, IBM are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, deliver sustainable development and eliminate some of the perversions of the proper workings of Capitalims. Not only does this approach to business attract some of the best talent, it gives teams at IBM a real sense of purpose. The result is a committed, motivated workforces that delivers results for shareholders societal progress.
Toms Shoes: One for One
Blake Mycoskie founder of Toms Shoes is representative of this new type of leader. Blake started a shoe company with a unique value proposition – for every pair of shoes he sold, he would give a second pair to a child in need. He also made a conscious decision to make it a for-profit business. It requires new leadership mindsets, new business models, standing up to shareholders in the short-term but the results are speaking for themselves. Companies that take societal as well as shareholder returns seriously are reaping the reward of loyal customers, higher sales and greater profits.
John Lewis Partnership: Eliminating the perversions of Capitalism
The John Lewis Partnership was started by Spedan Lewis as an experiment in democratic capitalism. Spedan Lewis wanted a business that contributed to the wealth and welfare of his workers and he wanted them all to have a say in the running of the business. The business model has proven to be immensely successful and is popular not only with the Partners who work their but also with the Partnership’s customers. JLP is a fantastic example of business that not only delivers but also shares value. Spedan Lewis’s experiment was indeed a huge success. Other businesses should take not here is a business model “that makes work something to live for as well as something to live by.