When Social Enterprises are Based Too Much On Personalities Rather Than Systems

Have you ever noticed that the entire direction and style of an organization can change once a particular person leaves the team, and someone else comes in to fill their shoes?

Lack of Systems Can Lead to Lack of Certainty

Sure, when the leader of an organization switches to someone new, the culture of the organization can sometimes switch too, depending on the personality of the new leader.

This can sometimes be a breath of fresh air, but it can also lead to volatility and uncertainty.

Social Enterprises Needs Systems For the Way People Do Things Specifically

In a budding social enterprise, the volatility and uncertainty can be prevalent and damaging when all of the roles in an organization are based on personalities rather than on systems.

As a social entrepreneur, you’re tasked with creating the organizational structure and systems to keep the social enterprise effective and efficient for the long haul.

I would suggest that social entrepreneurs should make systems in their enterprise which minimize the power and influence of individual personalities. Sure, it’s important to have bright stars in your team. You need to have leaders who have great ideas and a dynamic personality to bring your social enterprise’s mission forward. Nevertheless, you should ensure that your social enterprise is not highly dependent on certain people and their personalities.

Depending On Personalities Too Much Can Lead to Failing Social Enterprises

The biggest pitfall in a social enterprise that relies too much on a certain person in the team occurs when that particular person leaves the organization. If the enterprise centred heavily on that single person, then the operations of the organization cannot be continued easily, as it should.

Your clients, customers, beneficiaries, suppliers and even your employees will get confused and annoyed if on one day a representative of your social enterprise acts in one way. Yet, on another day, with a new representative, your social enterprise acts a totally different way.

Social Enterprises Need Systems to Be Sustainable

I think that just because social entrepreneurs and their social enterprises are out to change the world, they should not think that they don’t need sturdy systems to carry themselves through.

Social enterprises cannot rely too heavily on the good graces of their staff to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise. The social enterprise also needs good systems which are reliable all the time, so that no matter who fills in a particular role, the enterprise will deliver the same predictable results all the time, and not just some of the time when a person with a particular personality has filled the role.