In 2011 Michael Porter and Mark Kramer wrote an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) about organisations creating shared value.

Porter and Kramer argued that organisations need to operate from a new paradigm. One where value creation is not just about profit generation but also about how organisations can contribute to solving community and societal problems. Interestingly their article was not solely about corporate social responsibility.

They spoke about a genuine paradigm shift in which profit and social responsibility create equal value and they argued that it is possible to create such an organisation.

Shared value provides value to the organisation achieving its objectives, provides value to the employees of the organisation in helping them to contribute to worthwhile projects and provides value to the broader community in contributing to solving social problems. Importantly, shared valued will enhance your performance and therefore your career.

A challenge you face is that it is highly likely that neither you nor your colleagues know how to have the conversations that will enable the paradigm shift that Porter and Kramer described. This is difficult for professionals to acknowledge because in doing so you will be admitting that, from your perspective, you are not fully competent in your role. After all, aren’t you supposed to have developed your management competencies both from your education and your experience over time?

If you see yourself as a life-long learner you will be okay with identifying skills that require improvement.

Unfortunately you won’t have been exposed to the set of skills required to enable you and your colleagues to engage in dialogue. The short video below explains where dialogue sits within the Conversation Continuum, and the essential skills that underpin its development.

The fastest way that you and your colleagues can develop the conversation skills required to enable a paradigm shift to occur, is to learn dialogue together. A safe environment where both you and your colleagues are willing learners will enable you to quickly master the skills associated with dialogue and create the opportunity for paradigm shifts described by Porter and Kramer to occur.

Gary Ryan enables talented professionals, their teams and organisations to move Beyond Being Good and has been teaching dialogue for more than 15 years.