Integrated Thinking & Strategy Group

This special interest group, focusing on ‘integrated thinking and strategy‘, offers world-renowned and innovative organizations the opportunity to share thinking about developing strategy across multiple capitals, learn from world leaders and co-create a common view of integrated thinking that is globally relevant to help build resilient, future-fit businesses.

Founded in 2018, the Group is currently chaired by ABN AMRO’s Tjeerd Krumpelman, with Cristiano Busco of Luiss University serving as co-chair.

Case Studies

Participants of the group have shared their insights and experiences through a series of case studies, exploring how they use integrated thinking to shape and deploy their strategy.

Integrated Thinking: A virtuous loop report

The Integrated thinking: A virtuous loop report explores integrated thinking as a constantly evolving loop. It examines case studies from some of the world’s most innovative organizations, including Solvay and Novo Nordisk, and how they have mapped out and implemented their integrated thinking journeys.

Integrated Thinking & Strategy: State of Play Report

In 2020, the IIRC’s Integrated Thinking & Strategy Group published a State of Play report for integrated thinking and strategy.

This report sets out a new model for integrated thinking that encourages long-term, sustainable decision-making, enabling businesses to play their roles as stakeholders of a sustainable world.

Why did we create this group?

Traditional business management, based on financial analysis, has not kept pace with the seismic shifts taking place over the last thirty years. The value of intangible assets has now grown to over 90% of total market value for S&P 500 companies. Today, the best performers are basing their business decisions on interconnected and forward-looking information across multiple capitals, with a view to sustainable value creation.

In 2016, Larry Fink, chairman of BlackRock, wrote to CEOs of leading companies asking them to communicate to shareholders their annual strategic frameworks for long-term value creation.  The 2018 edition of Larry Fink’s letter also challenged CEOs to consider their social purpose, and in 2021 it asked companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy, including how this plan is incorporated into their long-term strategy and reviewed by their board of directors. Many others, from Paul Polman to Jamie Dimon, have joined the chorus around considering the longer term, as well as the short and medium term.

A number of questions arise:

  • What are the strategic imperatives behind longer-term value creation across the range of capitals that businesses rely on (from financial and manufactured capital to human, intellectual, social and relationship and natural capital)?
  • What multi-capital decision tools can businesses use that are credible in the board room? And credible with your investors?
  • How are companies dealing strategically with these and other challenges of corporate governance and performance management?

A diverse group of organizations came together to establish the special interest group in 2018:

  • Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
  • Capitals Coalition
  • Said Business School, University of Oxford
  • The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability
  • The World Bank.

<IR> Business Network meeting in Paris

Here are some key insights from our <IR> Business Network meeting on integrated thinking and strategy, held in Paris in 2018. We heard from inspirational speakers including WWF’s Pavan Sukhdev and Professor Judge Mervyn King as well as benefiting from the insight and experiences of organizations such as ABN AMRO, Atos, HSBC, Solvay and the World Bank.

How to get involved

This invitation-only network features leading organizations, from any global sector or region, that want to develop relationships with other businesses innovating in the evolution of integrated thinking and strategy. Some participants have already adopted integrated reporting and are seeking to take further their integrated thinking, as they increasingly understand its essential role in long-term value creation.  Others recognize the need to manage the multiple capitals they deploy in their businesses, even if they have not yet adopted integrated reporting.  Individual participants in the group are likely to come from a number of different parts of the organization:

  • Finance management and performance management
  • Strategy development
  • Sustainability
  • Human resources

We also hold regular webinars, as part of the <IR> Business Network group.