Communicate and stay on target: a recipe for ensuring social impact
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The emerging movement of social enterprise around the world has compelled a growing number of businesses to consider their social impact. Both traditional businesses and citizen-sector organisations are increasingly taking on the mantra of making money while making the world a better place.
The creation of the “triple bottom line” – that of people, planet and profit – is becoming more and more part of the traditional business model. Central to understanding the triple bottom line is the desire to create impact. But how do social enterprises ensure impact?
1. Communicate clearly
You influence your contacts through the stories you tell. “It’s all about the snowball effect,” says Navroze Mehta, Ashoka support network member. “Be clear about what you do, how you do it, and what you want. Repeat it over and over, so you don’t even have to think about it.”
By being confident in your own story, it lets others experience your impact for themselves, so don’t be vague about your vision. Engage listeners by using vivid examples to activate as many senses as you can. Show and tell people about your journey and invite them to join.
2. Stay on target
As entrepreneurs, what you start with and what you end with are rarely the same. Throw out the notion of complex business plans and five-year budget projections. Stay focused on your vision and the impact you want to create, even as your business model changes. Have clear goals and work together constantly with your mentors and advisers to make them a reality.