Hello SOTGC community,
You don’t have to be Melinda and Bill or Angelina and Brad to explore (and have fun) in the social innovation world. The power doesn’t lie in big money, political leaders, or celebrities.
It’s about everyday people with big ideas.
We are in the midst of a revolution unlike no other. Eloquently put by Nina Vasan and Jennifer Przybylo in their book Do Good Well, a cultural transformation has taken root as we’ve ever-so-quietly but ever-so-surely embraced the value that will come to define our generation: social responsibility.
So what is social innovation? Eliminating the jargon, it comes down to new ideas (products, services, or models) that meet social needs and create new relationships or collaborations. In other words, they are innovations that are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act.
For me it means waking up and turning on the light. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing – corporate exec, student, entrepreneur, nonprofit board member, or at home mom, listening for external cues (that fire you up) in our rapidly changing environment and looking for opportunities to engage, make connections and have an impact is good for you and the world. Kind of like SOTGC.
Big or small – even getting involved with other not so new initiatives counts. Maybe you’re looking at something already established in a new way.
Don’t be intimidated! If you have an idea, and you’re a volunteer leader (or want to be), a board member, or you have the entrepreneur gene, this is for you. It doesn’t require being an extrovert or having the charisma of Chelsea’s dad. Caring deeply for something is step 1.
In my last post, 5 Steps to becoming a Changemaker, I spoke of the small yet transformative steps to becoming a catalyst for the social good: Learning, Listening, Generating, and Leading. I am following up that post with a few tips to get you started building a social innovation movement, because, of course, they go hand in hand.
So what does social innovation look like for you and me? Remember, small steps lead to big results.
Passion and knowledge: Whatever it is, get specific and do your homework. Are there others doing the same thing? Can you speak about the need intelligently.
Focus and a one-minute pitch: Whether it’s a project or an idea, come up with an eight word mission, your elevator speech. (See below)
Find your people. Leaders don’t lead alone. Put it out there. Test the idea. Brush up on your social media skills. If others don’t care as much as you, let it go.
Humility: Understand from a deep place within that it’s not about you. It’s about the impact that you are creating. You MUST listen well, admit when you’re wrong, and change gracefully.
Check out some of these resources and get fired up.
Seth Godin’s Krypton College (small group training in your home to do something that matters):
Stanford Social Innovation Review: The go to publication for cutting edge social impact leaders.
Go out and do something that matters. And have fun.
Photo credit: www.socinnovationlab.org