Guest Blog: Putting Shared Value into Action

Today's guest blog comes from Tracy Sims, Senior Advisor for Lilly's global corporate responsibility programs.

Lilly is proud to have participated in the 3rd FSG Global Shared Value Leadership Summit held May 23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event brought together government, non-government, and corporate thought leaders to discuss cutting-edge approaches that leverage the shared value concept to better align business practices with pressing social needs.

Major social issues such as improved health outcomes, access to nutrition, and economic development have made notable advances over the last decade. However, there is yet a massive gap in many areas of the human condition, and the greatest negative impact is felt the most by those who have the least power to remedy them. Government programs, philanthropy, and corporate responsibility have all had positive impact, but to substantially and sustainably make change on major social issues shared value – which leverages the best aspects of capitalism – must lead the way.

Indeed, much of Lilly’s work on access to medicines has been inspired by this concept. As a biopharmaceutical company, our core business – developing and commercializing innovative medicines – fundamentally improves health and lowers the cost of care around the world. But our ambitions and responsibilities don’t end there. After all, the benefit of a medicine is only realized when it reaches a patient in need. Lilly puts shared value to work to strengthen healthcare systems through our global health initiatives such as the Lilly NCD Partnership. We believe that the private sector has a key role to play in partneringwith the public sector, NGOs and community-based-organizations to help broadly increase access to the highest quality health care. And by investing in these improvements, we not only ensure that needed medicines reach more patients, but we also help create stronger communities and new market opportunities for the future.

It was remarkable to see how much the shared value practitioner community has grown both from a sector and geographic perspective – dozens of countries and organizations were represented. We all equally appreciated how FSG continues to inform and support the practice of shared value. In fact, FSG has developed the Shared Value Initiative that, among other things, shares approaches, best practices, and fosters the further development of the shared value community. I encourage you to visit the recently launched website.

Last week’s summit was inspiring and humbling. There is much yet to learn about shared value, and the greatest learning will happen through well-designed and studied action. Importantly, the knowledge base on implementation and measurement is growing – providing additional management solutions. Investors are looking at shared value as a viable approach to driving business and social success and, importantly, governments are increasingly viewing the business sector as a collaborative source of solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social issues.

Lilly is committed to improving individual patient outcomes and will increasingly look to shared value-based solutions to make the bridge from our laboratories to patients in need.