Saturday, October 04, 2008

CSIM Session 8

What more can we ask for than to hear on Social Entrepreneurship and strategy from CSIM founder Mr.Devarajan himself.

The basic questions were asked - What is a strategy? It is a plan of action to reach goals/objectives.
Then came the point to ponder - When does one need a strategy? Inorder to realize a vision, one needs mission and to accomplish the mission one needs a strategy.

Vision is something which lasts for a long time, it is not something valid for a few years. The vision should be simple and not time bound. With this, each of us were asked to frame our vision in 3 words. Few examples that came out
Empowerment of women
Empowerment of children
Improve quality of life
Providing widow marriage opportunities
Removing economic barriers
Social transformation together
Providing timely help

Create a better world


Out of these we were asked to choose 3 which we thought were missions that would last for generations to come. We selected the ones marked in bold.

The next step was to create a mission. For this we worked to understand what a mission means - it flows from the vision, should be measurable and have a time line. We took the example of the vision 'Improve quality of life' and framed mission statement - Promoting spiritual wellness, emotional well being and physical well being.

While creating a mission statement, ensure that it has goals set against a time line and it is measurable.

Now comes the strategy which helps to accomplish the mission. Strategy is
1. a practical plan to achieve the mission
2. needs to have a time line
3. needs to be in detail
4. identify the risk and plan to mitigate them
5. internalize the risk by planning for resources needed to mitigate the risk
6. Identify the resources [time, people, knowledge, finance, infrastructure]

The cycle of the execution of the plan is more of a common sense.


During the multiple iterations of this cycle, there will be revisions to the plan. Then the process can be documented and shared, replicated to other NGO's. This will help in reaching out to many people and scaling of the organization.

Many times, intuition plays a role in strategy formation. Intuition comes from experience and is useful in risk management.

Then Devarajan sir read out some extracts from the book 'The power of unreasonable people'. This seems to a good read, an inspirational one. One extract had some good statistics that showed why the future of social sector and social enterpreneurs will be very bright. The author says that there are 4 billion people in the bottom of the economic pyramid. These people do very small jobs like the cobblers, masons, sweepers etc. The suprising fact is that the total revenue of such small jobs across the world is 5 trillion. To re-iterate

4 billion people in the bottom of economic zone ===> generate 5 trillion revenue

Isn't that amazing? The future lies in tapping the talent in this zone, by providing them the right skills. Now, who knows best about the people in this zone? NGO's. And that is why the world is looking for SE's to try new business models, study these groups and promote a social change.

4 comments:

Prakash Venkat said...

The Picture isnt Visible ... The one with Plan. execute , measure ... e.t.c ... Its so Surprising to know that out of 6.7 billion 4 billion folks fal in the category mentioned ...

Lalith Vasireddy said...

mmhmm ... with your blogs, looks like I don't have to sign up for the CSIM lectures. Good job with geting the gist of the lecture across

Aarthi said...

@Chakri, that was certainly not my intention :-) And hey, this is just the tip of the iceberg, you have be there to know it all.

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