According to a recent Standford Social Innovation Review article it's time to move from focusing on the "social entrepreneur" to the "social impact". It's something that I've wondered for many years. How long can we as a sector be beguiled by the cult of charismatic leadership? How long until results become more important than charm? In this February article, author Daniela Pip-Thorton makes the case that we have a glut of innovators and social entrepreneurs who have good intentions but not the skills to make the impact they so desperately seek. She provides three paths out of our current dynamic:
- We need to provide funding for learning, not just solving.
- We need to celebrate a range of social impact roles.
- We need to ask collaboration and learning questions.
I'm in agreement with Daniela and think that if we are to move in this direction it's going to require that critical stakeholders in the social impact economy increase their appetite for risk. And the only way that I see that happening if is we have a few brave actors willing to suggest a framework for reward that would make this risk much more palatable.
So..who is up first? Will it be you foundations? Who is going to be the first to create a mulligan fund? Who is going to create an ad campaign highlighting human resource leaders and accountants in the social good world? What best practices are going to emerge for internal non-profit cross team collaborations?
I'm not sure - but great suggestions Daniela!
Simone The Management Geek