Reality singing shows exist to pull the best and brightest from a massive pool of individuals whose talents are virtually the same. In this vast crowd of contestants, their ability to sing doesn’t vary dramatically, instead, it’s often their personality or some quirk that makes them special. In a competition of strong singers, to stand out and win, you have to have an enticing answer to the question “what makes you different?”
In the business world, companies are the contestants and their customers the judges. When they are working to attract new talent and potential customers, organizations are trying to prove that they are better than every other business out there, even those that are typically identical to them in almost every facet.
Businesses are on a never-ending search for something to set them apart and win over the hearts of the audience. The key to beating the competition is the creation of shared value, which can be achieved through three main methods.
Evolve your image by reconceiving products and markets
The first step of this process is to evaluate both your product and societal needs. This means taking a step back and investigating your product to see how it can be reimagined, reconceived, and repositioned to better fit the wants and demands of society.
General Electric’s Ecomagination project is an example of how this process is beneficial to both the organization and the community. With this project, they put time and effort into investing in sustainable product and service innovation. Forbes notes that this process led them “to drive innovation, reduce their overall carbon footprint, and create an important new revenue stream.”
The process of reconceiving products and services to better meet the needs of society is a crucial step in creating shared value. It catalyzes innovation in organizations, allowing them to emphasize their devotion toward the community in their marketing. Business is henceforth increased, leading to more capacity to benefit society, creating a never-ending cycle. In the eternal hunt for the ‘it factor’ that sets you apart from the competition, this reimagination and product development is the key to evolving your image.
Hit your high notes by redefining productivity in the value chain
Everything is inevitably connected in the business world. In the realm of organizational productivity, promoting shared value can make businesses more successful while simultaneously helping with societal issues. Porter and Kramer, in their Creating Shared Value piece note that environmental impact, supplier access and viability, employee skills, health, safety, and water and energy use are some of the areas with the greatest opportunity for creating shared value by increasing productivity in the value chain.
For instance, when an organization thoroughly invests in employee wellness, wages, training, and opportunity, it betters society by promoting health, well-being, and financial stability for many individuals and their families. It also helps the business by reducing the amount of work missed, health costs, and losses in productivity. This method of redefining productivity can help your business hit its high note. Sing it loud and clear, you won’t go unnoticed.
Work in harmony by creating supportive industry clusters at company locations
Sometimes it is necessary to harmonize with the competition to succeed — you can’t stand on the stage as the next American Idol without passing the group rounds. Being a stand-alone organization simply creates barriers to business success. Community infrastructure is essential for any organization.
Industry clusters include other organizations such as academic institutions, which educate potential employees, and general community aspects, like wealth and accessible transportation. Success does not exist in a vacuum and helping others, even if it’s the competition, will reflect positively on you and your business.
Winning the competition
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and attracting new talent and consumers to organizations is a constant competition. Millennials and Gen Z have shown an extreme amount of concern for fostering positive social change. They seek out organizations that share these values. In an ever-evolving world, companies that have continued to amend their business plan to capture current social issues and work toward solving them have seen greater economic success.
It’s up to you how bright your business will shine and what light you will cast upon your community. Make the choice to stand apart. Choose to create shared value and your company’s voice will stand out from the competition, earning you your place in the spotlight.