Shared value could be the medicine the finance sector needs to reinstate public and community trust, business leaders say.
Damien Mu, CEO of life insurance company AIA, spoke to Pro Bono News following the 2018 Shared Value awards – hosted by the Shared Value Project (SVP) – where he was named this year’s shared value champion.
Mu said there was a trust deficit between Australia and financial services, but he believed shared value was a great way to rebuild that trust.
“Our nation is looking for leaders and businesses that are going to give purpose and meaning to what they’re doing, and help resolve some of the issues that people face in this society,” Mu said.
Helen Steele, CEO of SVP, told Pro Bono News while there were financial institutions were engaging with the idea of shared value prior to the royal commission into banking, there were now more groups jumping in on the opportunity to regain public trust.
“That’s what the royal commission is doing for those that haven’t been so engaged in this conversation, it’s giving them an opportunity to reflect and perhaps think differently,” Steele said.
“It’s unfortunate it’s taken such a big event to change their thinking, but if that’s going to be a real impetus for change it can only be a positive thing.”
NAB took out the Trailblazer Award on the night, as well as the Civil Organisation Leading Through Shared Value Award, as a key partner to Good Shepherd Microfinance.
NAB general manager of credit decisioning, Andrew Ward, said as a company it was important to demonstrate to their customers that it wasn’t just NAB benefitting from shared value, but the broader community as well.
“The customer is certainly becoming more and more important – they always have been, but I think shared value is taking it to the next level,” Ward told Pro Bono News.
“It’s vital to be able to cut through to a community, when there’s so much noise about all the not so great news about financial institutions.”
Mu said it was important for the growth of shared value that businesses and companies shared their stories of how it had benefitted their business, team and society.
“Others need to see examples of how it worked for them because words on their own are good, but it’s solidified with the words and actions together,” Mu said.
With a range of industries other than finance nominated for awards, including tourism and engineering, Steel said it indicated a positive direction for where shared value was headed.
“We received submissions outside of our membership, and I think that’s a demonstration that the concept is growing,” she said.
“I think that there is a genuine desire from the corporate sector to transform, and I think that was represented by the energy and the enthusiasm that we saw at the awards.”
A full list of the 2018 award winners can be found here.