Many social entrepreneurs set up organizations in order to change the world. Those working on a “start-up” enterprise need to think differently about their organizations from those who run established or mature organizations.
While start-ups require entrepreneurs to exist in a state of high-energy hustle, established organizations require leaders who are good at building systems and achieving results through others.
Treating an established organization like a start-up can do more harm than good! It may constrain an organization’s evolution by locking it into a developmental stage. Conversely, handling a start-up (with its limited resources and unrefined approach) in the same way that you would treat an established organization would make it difficult to get it off the ground.
The wisdom is knowing when your organization has become established (it normally takes around 5 years) and then shifting your thinking and behaviour accordingly.
This article explores how social entrepreneurs and leaders should see and treat their organizations, depending on whether they are busy setting it up or whether it is already established.