The need for shared-value propositions

A shared purpose draws people to connected companies (Gray, 2012, p. 218, 253) and the larger-than-the-organisation shared enterprise (Graves, 2010, p. 13).

In Tom’s Enterprise Canvas, the value proposition links a service to the shared enterprise’s purpose, i.e. it explains how the service contributes to achieving this shared purpose. The service’s purpose is delivering this proposed value to…whom?

Traditionally, a value proposition focuses on value delivered to customers, but as Dave, Tom and others argue, this view is too narrow in this increasingly connected society (note that I didn’t say economy): today an effective value proposition needs to consider the value delivered to all stakeholders, including employees, partners and customers (there are more).

In other words: An effective value proposition must be a a shared-value proposition.

Adapting an idea by IDEO, a sustainable service delivering such a value proposition must strike an effective balance between human desirability, commercial viability and technical feasibility. Such an effective balance must be achieved not only for the provider of the service-under-discussion but also for all other stakeholders such as customers, partners, suppliers, etc.


Graves, T. (2010) Mapping the enterprise: modelling the enterprise as services with the enterprise canvas. Tetradian Books.

Gray, D. (2012) The connected company. O’Reilly.


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