Developing a shared value approach to partnerships for one of the world’s largest healthcare groups.
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Bupa invests in a range of strategic relationships across its business. The more prominent are managed by a dedicated strategic partnership group but business units also invest in commercial relationships relevant to their markets and operations.
The challenge for the group was to define what a strategic partnership means to Bupa Australia; develop a whole-of-business approach to identifying, assessing, managing and evaluating all partnerships; ensure that the company’s purpose of investing in health for societal impact is evident in all partnerships; create a system that aggregates and provides visibility over partnerships, ensuring that investment is appropriately allocated across different health conditions and business objectives; and provide a compelling argument to the business for change.
Shared value principles were a natural fit for Bupa’s strategic partnership exploration because they provide the basis of a model to identify, assess and manage those partnerships to ensure the realisation of purpose and business returns are outcomes of every relationship.
During the project, the company’s business, brand, marketing, health research, health grants and health innovation program reports and strategies were assessed for objectives, outcomes and synergies. Interviews with heads of department and executive team members also clarified the different objectives of each team and some of the perceived conflicts the group was facing.
Importantly, base strategic partnership management model was created for further development. The model will ensure whole of business visibility over partnership investment to ensure aggregate health and business impacts reflect the partnership strategy.
The project had a number of important immediate business outcomes:
- Recognition among departmental leaders of the value each team creates across the business-health impact spectrum.
- A clearer definition of what Bupa seeks in a strategic partnership, and what it brings to any relationship.
- A process for finding, assessing, initiating, managing and evaluating partnerships.
- A framework to enable assessment of any single partnership in the context of whole-of-business partnership investment and with which to define the range of outcomes expected.
Ultimately, when a final model is in place, all of Bupa’s strategic partnership investments should achieve health and social impacts. From a shared value perspective, these partnerships are revealed as lead instruments in achieving social change.
As an exemplary case of a whole-of-business partnership strategy, our work with Bupa was featured as a case study in Marketing Magazine. Read the digital version here.