Chen Chunhua: Value symbiosis in the digital age

2022-06-23 0 By

CFIC introduction Enterprises need to be able to achieve value symbiosis with the entire human life and social progress.In the digital age of value symbiosis, enterprises need to rethink their value positioning and value creation strategies.New and sustainable value can be created if we are willing to work with organizations, other people, society and the environment.Digitalization promotes value symbiosis. Digitalization distinguishes modern society from the industrial age with three characteristics: connectivity (connecting over owning), symbiosis (the physical and digital worlds merge and coexist), and the present (focusing on what things mean to the present).Digitization has forced companies to rethink their survival models and evolution paths.Enterprise digital survival means value reconstruction, which means that enterprises, customers, suppliers and partners produce new value together.Based on the “flywheel effect” theory, Amazon explores the organizational management answer to realize value symbiosis, and continues to provide increasing value for customers and suppliers through digital technology capabilities.It attracts more customers and partners to the platform, enabling customers to gain sustainable value, create a better life together and gain the ability to face the future.The word “symbiosis” comes from the field of biology. The German biologist Deberry put forward the concept of symbiosis in 1879. Now, it generally refers to “the mutual relationship between organisms and other organisms gradually in the long-term evolution process, to jointly adapt to the complex and changeable environment”.Lynne Margulis, an American biologist, argues that Darwin’s idea that evolution is “competition-driven” is flawed, and that symbiosis is the “silver lining” of a long evolutionary era.In 1981, Margulis pointed out from the perspective of ecology that “symbiosis is the union of important components of members of different species in different life cycles”.Margulis believes that symbiosis is a natural evolutionary mechanism that maintains biological diversity, creates new species through multi-dimensional and complex interactions among diverse individuals, and realizes continuous development.It is the source of evolutionary innovation and the driving force of biological novelty.In fact, the concept of symbiosis has long been applied to organizational management by scholars.In management, an early concept is “industrial symbiosis”, which describes the cooperative relationship between industries. It believes that different traditional industries (such as industry, water, energy, etc.) need “cross embedding” and full cooperation to gain advantages and ensure the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.The core of symbiosis is “win-win” and “coexistence”.Nowadays, managers gradually realize that the essence of an enterprise should not only obtain its own interests, but also realize better social values through the collaborative creation of symbiotic values and the construction of symbiotic relationships.Digital technology makes it possible for companies to achieve symbiosis on a much wider scale.Value symbiosis is to discuss how to realize symbiosis between organization and organization, organization and individual, society and environment in digital era.Organizational goals should also take into account the meaning of people, and realize the synergy and symbiosis between organizations, organizations and individuals, partners, society and environment.Enterprise level recognition of value symbiosis Enterprise level recognition of value can be simply understood as a process from inside to outside.People tend to focus on the value generated by products and businesses, which are created internally and reflected at the business level.Then it extends to the customer level, where you have the value that the customer brings.Today, value activities are carried out in the whole value network related to customers, and enterprise value is created by the whole value network.How to realize value symbiosis among different subjects in enterprise value network activities?The rise of Apple inc. is the process of realizing value symbiosis with infinite link.Since 2001, Apple has laid out its “digital hub” business strategy in its annual report, heralding a new era of development based on personal digital devices.Apple judged that the PC would become a hub because it fulfilled the characteristics of a digital hub, such as a friendly user interface that enabled complex programs to run.More importantly, it has lower storage costs and maintains connectivity with external devices and the Internet, providing high value-added applications for access devices.In 2007 apple predicted that the phone would become a “digital hub” that would allow people to enter “digital lives”.Apple’s first mobile phone, the iPhone, became a portable star, and through multiple software and hardware upgrades, the iPhone became the core product of digital life.There are no restrictions on access to the App Store, and any individual or software developer can sell software on the App Store.Apple also retains the sole right to determine the quality of software sold on the App Store.Apple has created an ecosystem of infinite links, vertically linking suppliers and product users, horizontally linking accessory manufacturers and content providers.Accessory makers and content providers share the revenue, and at the heart of the symbiotic space is the iPhone customer experience.Apple’s practice shows that every breakthrough in connection is accompanied by changes in people’s living and working modes, and the value symbiosis between developers, suppliers and customers.By breaking through the connection of the physical world, the connection of devices and the connection of systems, and realizing the integrated consumption experience mode again and again, Apple inc. has realized the customer-centered “digital hub” strategy and achieved success.In the understanding of value symbiosis, Environmental, Social and Governance are the conceptual systems and methodologies for evaluating the sustainable development of enterprises based on value factors.To truly achieve long-term and sustainable development, enterprises must realize the value symbiosis between enterprises, society and environment.ESG measures corporate social responsibility and actions and their impact on social values by obtaining non-financial information, and then evaluates corporate sustainability.In the early stages of enterprise development, most companies focus only on the business value curve, which is mainly production and services.Society requires enterprises to assume social roles, and enterprises also respond to society and make public donations, but this is still a commercial value based on the traditional social responsibility model.As companies grow, the value curve changes.Value symbiosis requires that enterprises have the ability to promote the progress of the industry and realize “industry symbiosis”.The more important requirement is that companies should be able to promote social progress or environmental improvement and achieve “social symbiosis”.In this way, the total value curve of the enterprise changes from “commercial value (product or service) + social value (charitable donation)” based on the traditional social responsibility model to “commercial value (product or service + industry symbiosis)” and “social value (social symbiosis)” based on the new social responsibility model.The effect of value symbiosis not only greatly increases the original commercial value, but also brings about nonlinear increase of social value due to the realization of social symbiosis, which affects the total value curve of enterprises.The companies we see today with enormous space and infinite possibilities are actually constantly expanding the value space of symbiosis with society.For example, Tencent put forward “technology for good”, Huawei put forward “common value protection and common platform support business model”, Amazon added the management principle of “become the best employer/promise to undertake greater social responsibility”, and so on.These companies have been improving the value symbiosis at the social and environmental levels to promote the progress of the industry, society and environment, and at the same time obtain more value space for themselves.Many studies have shown that ESG can enhance enterprise value, not only help enterprises gain legitimacy, stakeholder support and key external resources, but also promote enterprises to improve governance mechanism, reduce agency cost and promote senior management to think about strategy based on long-term symbiosis.Therefore, enterprises need to incorporate social and environmental factors into their “value symbiosis” strategy, so that enterprises can promote the healthy development of society and environment while pursuing profits.In the digital era, only through collaborative creation and value symbiosis can enterprises better meet social needs, make the society better, and obtain a higher total value curve of enterprises.Only by opening boundaries, constructing co-ecology, doing well in the present and adhering to long-termism values and being committed to non-substitutability, can enterprises create values that integrate customers, enterprises and symbiotic partners and develop healthily for the future.Author: Chen Chunhua source: wechat editor of Enterprise Management 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