This article is about building a thriving environment for social impact careers in social impact organisations.
Social impact organisations, problem-solving ecosystems — working at a small or large scale — must function internally accordingly to what they preach externally. Breaking down the systemic barriers standing between people and opportunity is definitely a noble mission to pursue, but when not practiced in-house, It becomes no longer noble but dangerous.
Here is an attempt to create a coherent work environment for the change makers investing their time in your social impact organisations.
1. THE MEANING
Typically, the founders of social impact organisations take on the role of the main believer of the organisation’s social mission, Its guardian. But that’s not enough. The passion for and the understanding of the social mission is a critical criterion for every individual joining the team, as critical as the talent and the skill set.
The social mission of the organisation must be translated into a set of values that is lucid, explicit and shared between all team members, at all positions. These values will be held to be a reference for right and wrong, as a compass to make important decisions and career choices. These values will eventually shape the organisation’s culture.
2. THE CULTURE
Individuals who belief in their role of change makers and join social impact organisations are rejecting cubical jobs and the idea of executing tasks they are ordered to. Conforming to a controlling system is the worst you can do to these people (I can rant about this in an other article). Such individuals only thrive in an empowering culture; a culture that puts their fulfilment first, a culture that celebrated trust, freedom, and responsibility. If an impact organisation goes against such a culture, it goes against its own social mission and functions oppositely to what they preach; because any defined social mission leads to a world of where the human being’s prosperity is at the centre of all endeavours. Embracing that culture fosters the employees’ coherence with their social impact career, their satisfaction, commitment, fulfilment and intention to stay.
3. THE LEARNING
The learning experience in each job is crucial today for the development of active talented people in all industries. Yet, we should be aware that we can’t depend on traditional learning methods for individuals who identify as social innovators and change makers. Change makers often don’t have clear ideas about what they need to learn and succeed because most of these organisations don’t have predecessors to learn from, that’s why they’re innovators; they learn as they go; they have to embrace iteration and remain open to applying outside knowledge. To maximise the learning, your teams must have direct exposure to challenges, access to an unleashed flow of information, and career transitions opportunities within the organisation.
Empowering talented change agents is the source for all your possibility, for the change you seek to make as an organisation.
Isn’t it worth it?