Test cases for Mutuality
In 2014, the leadership of Mars Incorporated announced its intention for Mars to become the ‘most mutual company’ in the world, building on the company’s five core principles of quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency, and freedom. At Mars, mutuality is described in terms of shared benefits – ‘a mutual benefit is a shared benefit; a shared benefit will endure’ – and these are not limited to financial benefits.
A further articulation of mutuality is the idea that Mars’ success should not come at the ‘expense, economic or otherwise, of other with whom’ the company works, and should instead aspire to ensure the flourishing of all.
Since 2009, Catalyst has undertaken a multidisciplinary research initiative to explore the economics of mutuality--more information about the broader effort can be found across this blog--and subsequently established Maua and Bloom to put some of our findings to the test.
Maua and Bloom
Projects Maua and Bloom are pioneering route to market pilots with Wrigley in Kenya (Maua) and the Philippines (Bloom) to test how Mars can create a successful business model at the middle of the diamond on the demand side while delivering measurable and tangible social benefit.
We named the Kenyan project Maua, the Swahili word for ‘flower’ and the Philippines project Bloom, since the territories that the Entrepreneurs cover resemble the petals of a blooming flower. It is also symbolic of the blossoming – the opening up and flourishing -- of individual entrepreneurs and of the programs. This Entrepreneur Accelerator Programaims to expand the reach of our business and include more people in our value chain through empowering individual entrepreneurs and creating large networks of micro-entrepreneurs and micro-distributors, and is built on two pillars: (i) leading-edge business operations through hybrid value chain, and (ii) breakthrough measurement and evaluation techniques to measure “People & Performance” impactrigorously in terms of Human Capital (Well-being @ Work), Social Capital and Shared Financial Capital.
Products in the Maua (Kenya) pilot:
Products in the Bloom (Philippines) pilot:
Hybrid Value Chain
A key element of the Maua and Bloom programs is the development of a new management practice termed hybrid value chain (HVC), specifically through partnerships with citizen-sector organisations (CSOs). HVCs are collaborations between for profit and non-profit organisations to address development or poverty challenges through market based solutions, and are viewed as holding the potential to transform industries and create whole new ones.
The goal is to apply the assets and competencies of all the partners in a HVC to a business that creates greater value than the partners could generate by operating on their own. For example, in the Maua hybrid value chain, CSOs provide assistance with recruitment and training, leveraging their deep understanding of community needs and dynamics and social networks. Together, the partners can deliver value and market access, in a way that none can deliver on its own: empowering entrepreneurs and growing successful and sustainable route to market.
We have partnered with Oxford Said Business School and other leading academic institutions to develop the methodology to evaluate economic and social, short-and long-run impact of the program. This will be calibrated and deployed with local academic partner Curiosity Design Research. We will use three tools to measure the performance and people impact: