Moving beyond sustainability – Insights from the Inter Business Index 2017
Businesses are the most influential actors in society today. They provide people with vital products and services, employment and have an immense impact on society. This we know. Companies and their role and responsibility are also changing drastically — from previously just having to ensure their shareholders’ interest, to having to look out for all stakeholders and their interests.
Beyond sustainability lies holistic value creation. This entails moving forward with the entire complex, interconnected reality that we have come to know through the field of business sustainability. Holistic value means creating value in several dimensions — it means no trade-offs, and that all stakeholders are winners. Holistic value creation is imperative for future success of businesses and humanity.
This is also where the most prominent business leaders and their discussions are at.
We are also starting to see a rise in purpose driven businesses, businesses that are talking about, and identifying their purpose and meaning — and understanding that one has to gather all stakeholders around that meaning. More and more business leaders are starting to recognize that purpose is a key for a successful business. Dan Pontefract, leadership, purpose & open-thinking writer brings up several examples of CEO’s that are talking about the importance of purpose, and he formulates it very well:
“When purpose is established and acted upon, great things can happen. All stakeholders can win.” — Dan Pontefract, leadership, purpose & open-thinking writer
We see that those businesses that have come the furthest, have acknowledged that it’s not about any one single question, or about picking and choosing a few favourites — but instead seeing how all things are interdependent and interconnected. Acknowledging this is what we need to move beyond sustainability.
This is an extended excerpt from Inter Business Index 2017, ranking the 50 largest corporations in Sweden. Based on published research, the Inter Business Index uses a unique tool, Ibx Insight™, developed to measure and analyze the core skills that indicate a company’s’ ability to create holistic value.
Download full report and find out which Swedish corporations are the frontrunners in business beyond sustainability — the ones that have the ability to lead with the skills needed to create value in multiple dimensions.
The Inter Business framework is built on extensive qualitative research, resulting in not only the Index itself, but also a sound methodology for the framework that have been published in Journal of Management and Sustainability and European Social Innovations Review.