Mutual Value Lab

17 August 2023

On 16 August 2023, the Mutual Value Lab – a research partnership between the BCCM and Monash University to measure the value co-ops and mutuals create for their members and communities – officially launched in Melbourne.

Rohan Mead, Group CEO, Australian Unity (left); Liz Thomas, CEO, Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL) (middle); Anthony De Fazio, CEO, BankVic (right); and Michelle Bagnall, CEO, Bank First discussed the contribution that co-operatives and mutuals make to the economy and the communities in which they operate.

The lab is the latest addition to the Monash Business School’s pioneering Impact Labs, comprising dynamic interdisciplinary research labs that collaborate for impactful research with external partners. The Mutual Value Lab is the first research unit of its kind in the world. It leverages the ongoing research collaboration between Monash Business School, the BCCM and the co-operative and mutual sector in Australia, which led to the rollout of the groundbreaking performance and impact measurement tool, the Mutual Value Measurement Framework©.

According to data from the annual National Mutual Economy report, Australia has 1,848 active co-operative and mutual enterprises, directly employing 76,000 people, and the top 100 have a combined turnover of $40.4 billion. Co-ops and mutuals provide numerous benefits to the communities in which they operate. For every dollar spent in a co-operative or mutual, there is an estimated reinvestment of 76 cents in the local community. But awareness of this business model is low. Despite eight in 10 Australians being a member of a co-operative or mutual, only three in 10 know they are.

“What gets measured, gets monitored. What gets monitored, gets valued. Valuing the positive impact of cooperatives and mutuals on their members, their customers, their communities and wider society, is long overdue. Mutual Value Measurement© is a framework that makes sure none of the value co-ops create is hidden, overlooked or ignored,” said BCCM CEO Melina Morrison.

The Mutual Value Lab will have a research kiosk, enabling any co-op or mutual access to a team of dedicated researchers keen to address the myriad challenges and opportunities for co-ops and mutuals to create and deliver impact for members in the broader community.

Mutual Value Lab Launch
Mutual Value Lab launch

You can hear how the Mutual Value Measurement Framework© can help drive success in your co-op or mutual through better alignment between measurement practices and business strategy from Monash’s Associate Professor Paul Thambar and Professor Matthew Hall as part of our Leader Dialogue series at the BCCM Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane. Early bird tickets are available until this Friday, 18 August, 11:55 pm (AEST).

View the Mutual Value Lab launch photo gallery.

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