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Visualizing Shared Value with MURAL

Written by 
Jim Kalbach
May 23, 2016


Consider these examples of business innovation:

  • CVS stopped selling cigarettes at its stores, giving up $2 billion in sales, but have in return seen greater uptake in health services and sales of products like nicotine patches.
  • Skype in the classroom” allows teachers to collaborate with instructors around the world to offer students unique, memorable learning experiences.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group’s GreenEngage program gives customers an environmentally sensitive alternative when selecting a hotel, while saving the company 25% in costs.

These are all examples of shared value.

Shared value is a management strategy focused on creating business value by addressing social problems. The concept was defined in the Harvard Business Review article “Creating Shared Value” by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer.

Shared value goes beyond social responsibility. It touches the heart of an organization’s strategy. The goal is that every time a customer interacts with an organization, it creates value for the company AND for society.


The Shared Value Initiative was formed by the social impact firm FSG in 2012 as a nonprofit organization to drive the movement. Each year they run the Shared Value Leadership Summit, a conference that brings together top business leaders from around the world.

This year, MURAL partnered with the Initiative to provide a visual platform to record and distribute outcomes of lab sessions. The aim was capture not only the information from the workshops, but also the spirit of the group collaboration.

The opening plenary session on Day 2 of the SVI Shared Value Leadership Summit showing MURAL


To prepare for the event, MURAL worked with the conference team to create templates. We needed one MURAL template for each of the 10 lab session of the Summit.

Each template had three parts:

  • In the center was the main content of the workshop exercises and discussions.
  • The top contained the session title, photos of the lab team, and a description.
  • The bottom area was reserved for photos from the session.

The goal was to get a rich picture of each lab.

An example template for one of the lab sessions


Each session had about 50-80 attendees. Virtually all of the work was done offline -- in face-to-face conversations using flipcharts and sticky notes.

Although we were logged into MURAL in each workshop room, we found the teams tended not to use it in real time. Instead, we planned to transcribe the handwritten content afterwards.

Transcribing content from the labs into mural after the sessions


Overall, MURAL worked well to reflect both the outcomes of the sessions in a visual way. Many participants of the Summit expressed their liking of our approach.

SVI The Initiative will make all of the murals from the lab sessions available via a view-only on their website. Below is an example of a final workshop mural embedded in this webpage.


You will enter this mural in View Only mode.

You can also follow the view-only link to see it in your browser.

A key take-away for is that face-to-face interaction wins: people will tend to gravitate towards in-person, physical dialog than use a digital tool.

We also found it difficult to capture information in real time, even with a dedicated scribe. So, unless the entire group is working directly in mural -- either by logging in individually or looking at MURAL on a projector -- it will be difficult to transpose everything on the fly.

Still, the flexibility of MURAL showed that it’s suitable for a range of uses, including documenting multiple working sessions with a large number of attendees.


For more on how to create your own templates in MURAL, please see a summary of our webinar on the topic in this blog post:

You might also enjoy our other how-to videos and blog posts on remote collaboration:

About the author

About the authors

Jim Kalbach

Chief Evangelist
Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in customer experience, experience design, digital transformation, and strategy.