Week 8 - Organization Building


Throughout the class thus far, the focus has been on analyzing many of the different components necessary to a social enterprise. The focus of this class is on analyzing the beginning stages of an organization - with a keen eye on social enterprises - and how the organization grows. This class and the next class - What Makes a Social Entrepreneur? - will round out the class by tying everything together.


  1. Housekeeping - Anything that's necessary to take care of beforehand.Ê(10 min).
  2. Leadership - The most important element to building an organization. The leader sets the tone for the rest of the organization and without strong leadership from the top, an organization is likely to misstep or even fail in solving its problem. What are some key characteristics of great leaders? What does a great leader need to do? How do leaders handle failure? This article goes into much more detail about the qualities and styles of leadership [20 min]
  3. Brainstorming - Brainstorming is a key component for an organization to make decisions, think about growth strategies, come up with solutions to problems based on its mission statement, coming up with the mission statement, etc. This discussion should focus on the benefits of brainstorming, and should have a mini brainstorming session to discuss what works and doesn't work in an organization. Use this article as a starting point for brainstorming [20 min].
  4. Business Plans - Many people disagree about whether or not a business plan is extremely valuable or a complete waste of time. Dwight D. Eisenhower said it best in that "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." This is true with business plans in that they help develop a blueprint of what the organization ought to look like and detail many of the assumptions, risks, and roadmap for the organization. Discussion should focus around what a good business plan involves. This article is a great starting point [20 min].
  5. Team Building - At some point, an organization must grow beyond the small team of founders to include other people. Who should the organization pick? What are the qualities of a great team? This article discusses what a great team looks like as well as discusses some of the reasons why teams fail [20 min].
  6. Partnerships - Partnerships deserve specific attention because they are especially critical for social enterprises. Many times there are multiple organizations acting in tangentially related ways, and its a common practice for social entrepreneurs to leverage other enterprises' core competencies to meet some of the organization's needs. What are critical components to successful partnerships? How does an organization choose potential partners? This article provides a primer for what makes effective partnerships [20 min].
  7. Wrap Up - How do all of these qualities relate to the previous classes? Any themes that can be discussed? Ê[10 min]


  • Each student should do a reflection on their personal motivations and whether or not they would consider themselves a social entrepreneur. Do you want to be the leader? Would you rather be the coordinator behind the leader, managing all of the details? What motivates you to take a leadership position? How do you lead? This assignment should be a paragraph or two exploring these questions and quite personal in nature.
  • Each student should write another 1-2 paragraph description of a social entrepreneur of their choosing. The writings should discuss the personal characteristics and qualities of the individual, such as personality, temperament, family life, work habits, etc.


No readings for next week.

Next Week:

Next week will be the final class and is a discussion of what makes a social entrepreneur. What are some of their personal qualities? What are some themes that have been discussed throughout the class? These questions and many others will be explored in this class.

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