TAKE A WIDE-ANGLE VIEW OF SOCIAL INITIATIVES MANAGING
Your management style, focus, and motivation provide the driving force for your group. The purpose of an organization is not just to make impacts neither is it making money; the purpose is to provide positive results that generate a surplus and allow the organization to grow and meet its obligations to its various stakeholders or better put members.
That’s the concept of LEAN VI SIGMA- building a structure around customer service delivery driven towards loyalty of clients and stakeholders.
Making money is a result of investing resources in projects that add Value to the society. That sounds too straight?
I meet lots of brainwashed entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs- those who claim to be passionate and refuse to create structures for sustainability and profit growth with fewer efforts. It’s imperative to acknowledge that
Money comes when values are given out. That is Simple! Over the years many books and articles have been presented to convince managers to focus on some single issue such as excellence, results, profit, performance, sustainability, or benefit to the community.
We could add to this list other single issues such as strategic planning, re-engineering, outsourcing, performance management, empowerment, and the other acronym-based panaceas that have come and gone without any long-term impact on the organization. Do these issues involve you as a young manager of a social Initiative? Definitely yes!
You are now expected to contribute to the benefit of the whole organization.
You now need to take a systems perspective and establish your organization as a value-adding force to meet the system and societal demands not only of your initiatives but also of the organization. You don’t make progress in your career or in an organization by sitting on the sidelines. Something must happen to make progress.
Focusing on any one single issue will not sustain an organization for the long term. All must be kept in balance, although one or more may have higher priorities depending on the circumstances. Consider each of the following single issues: excellence, results, profit, performance, sustainability, or benefit to the community.
Excellence. Excellence in which area of the organization? Excellence is a moving target. What was excellent yesterday may not even make the grade today. An organization cannot possibly be excellent in all operational areas unless the targets are lowered to such an extent that excellence has no meaning. So, decide how to pursue excellence and where it provides the greatest benefit.
Results. Results only become reality when the means for accomplishing them are included in the projections. Results require
a defined system for measurement. The how achieved becomes important because short-term results can be achieved while destroying future capabilities and opportunities.
Just what is meant by results needs to be defined and clearly communicated.
Profit. Profit, or surplus in the case of not-for-profit organizations, cannot be disregarded. A positive income stream compared to expenses is necessary to sustain the organization.
But if profit becomes the only motivation then the organization may have other opportunities to provide the greatest return on investment. That could include entering new businesses, changing direction, or even closing operations.
Performance. Performance involves meeting the operational objectives of the organization. Those projects must meet three requirements: specifications, time schedule, and cost estimates. The supporting organizational functions must also meet their commitments.
Sustainability. Building the future of the organization provides many challenges because sustainability depends on the ability to satisfy many conflicting expectations: those related to internal and external entities. Long-term sustainability is often subject to forces beyond control of managers.
Benefit to the Community. Community responsibility is met when organizations provide jobs, meet the requirements of being good citizens, and contribute to volunteer-sponsored programs. However, in recent years we have seen the demise of organizations that have directed too many resources to meeting social needs of the community.
Successful leads of Social Initiatives and businesses balance these six factors. All are important. Without some effort in pursuing excellence organizations become mediocre.
Without a positive surplus from operations the organization will soon be gone. Without a program in continuous improvement the organization will lose to its competitors. Without building for the future the organization puts itself, its employees, its customers, and its suppliers at risk. Without becoming a social presence in the community the organization creates untenable problems.