Challenges - The Unavoidable Trials

As Michael Sani points out in a video clip we will be posting later today, there is no manual to being the CEO of a social enterprise, so social entrepreneurs have to learn on the job. This means that there will be challenges along the way, and the only way forward is to try your best and learn from the inevitable mistakes. It is often through these challenges and mistakes that the best decisions are made, that the organisation turns a corner that makes it stronger and more effective in solving the fundamental problem at hand.

These challenges obviously take very different forms depending on the organisation, but there is a sort of universality to them. Michael Sani tells of how the huge amount of time it has taken to achieve certain outcomes has been a real challenge for him and for his organisation – but it has taught him resilience and persistence. For Mark Swift, communicating his message in the most effective way, and ‘rocking the boat whilst not falling out’ have been skills he has had to learn, while for Karen the learning curve has been in selling a concept to people who don’t know they want it – especially when that concept comes with negative connotations.

When facing challenges, finding the will and resilience to carry on can be a challenge in itself – for the social entrepreneur themselves and for their team. That is when social purpose and a consistent shared vision are of crucial importance; if talented and dedicated people have a goal to work towards – particularly if that goal is for widespread social impact – then almost no challenge is insurmountable.