There is a fast growing number of pioneers that show exactly what doing business according to NetWork Capitalism is all about. Their best practices prove that successful businesses raise the level of well-being in society at large. Who’s next?
This list of NetWork Capitalism pioneers is by no means complete or definite. Feel free to add other best practices via facebook.com/NetWorkCapitalism or @NetWork_Cap. Let's share, be connected and get inspired!
Swiss company Weleda International is active in over 50 countries and a world leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They live social value and show how supplier partnerships are mutually beneficial. For example, to guarantee the supply of organic roses Weleda invested in over 300 smallholders to set up ecological rose cultivation. It invested not just in production facilities, but also in the social infrastructure to support the local communities as a whole.
Dutch stronghold Philips sees continuous urbanization in many parts of the world as a key challenge for well-being. It has made 'creating safe and liveable cities' a cornerstone of its corporate strategy. Philips is now successfully setting up global high quality networks to solve the issues related to safe and liveable cities. Off course Philips sells lightning products and services as part of the solution, but that's not the point. Philips shows that mutually beneficial partnerships go beyond 'sales' and PR.
CEO Ton Hanselaar of Pantein (the Netherlands) has created a high value network of healthcare (related) companies that don't sell medical treatments. Instead they make each client's health situation the centre piece of a personalised 'get back home as soon as possible' program. As Pantein acknowledges its profits are at a lower than average level, its owners are satisfied, clients get better sooner, the quality of services keeps rising and overall healthcare costs are structurally lower.
Entrepreneur Laamia Elyounoussi started her cleaning company Schone Zaak! in Rotterdam and creates mutually beneficial partnerships in a highly competitive market. She offers her employees, mostly immigrants with little or no social mobility perspective, a three year contract and a unique proposal. In their first year they're offered an obligatory language course, afterwards a general education program and after 3 years a guaranteed job-offer in a company outside of the cleaning industry.
World leading Dutch chip manufacturer ASML set a new standard in creating mutually beneficial partnerships with its 'Customer Co-Investment Program'. To further enlarge the possibilities of unlimited information and communication technologies ASML invited its key clients to become shareholder and partner in its newest R&D program. ASML made 25% of its stock available, while Intel (US), TSMC (Taiwan) and Samsung (South Korea) not only bought the shares, but also co-invested hundreds of millions euros.
Germany's Stihl is the global specialist (160 countries) in high quality chainsaws. The company is a typical example of the German 'Mittelstand'; companies that operate globally, but are strongly rooted in long lasting locally interrelated high value networks that go well beyond innovation, production and even industry borders. These networks are considered to be an important part of the Mittelstand's identity, while the companies themselves are an important part of regional social economic structures.
Scottish craft beer company Brewdog started in 2007 and is not just another average local brewery. Given their mission to make people passionate about great craft beer Brewdog created global high value networks in which customers became fans and fans became investors. Brewdog crowd funded its investments for larger and professional brewing facilities making it the fastest growing food and drink company in the UK (2012). Next round investments are planned for 2015.
Airbnb is a global marketplace for unique accommodation. The entire idea of Airbnb is to create high value networks in with home owners and those seeking accommodation can engage in mutually beneficial partnerships. Trust based transactions, 100% personalised homes and sharing instead of owning are its key features. Airbnb is a great example of the potential disruptiveness that unlimited digital information and communication technologies hold for existing markets.
FrieslandCampina is one of the world's largest dairy companies and renowned as a leading expert. As the world population keeps growing and global food shortage plus demands for higher levels of nutrition are considered to be one of the world's mayor threats to well-being, FrieslandCampina believes dairy products play a key role in solving both. Therefore the company builds high value networks in R&D on a global sale to create the breakthrough ideas and products that are required to make dairy available to as many people as possible.
Multinational Unilever recently started a strategic partnership with NGO Solidaridad to improve the lives of 1 million people in Unilever's extended supply chains. This includes promoting gender equity, improving agricultural and labour practices as well as supporting young agricultural entrepreneurs and land management. Besides increasing its positive social impact this partnerships intends so secure Unilever's sustainably sourcing of key agricultural raw materials (tea, cocoa, sugar, palm oil, fruit and vegetables, soy, and dairy) in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.