According to some management guru’s change is a permanent feature in our lives or in the life span of organisations. Change is an inevitable phenomenon. There is no choice in having change. You may choose to have change in your personal life. You may be forced to change in your life patterns. Change may happen to you when you are unconscious. Changes take place in organisations; it may be as a result of premeditated and pre-planned actions. Change may come due to natural phenomenon, for example through a volcanic eruption. All what is acceptable is that change takes place always, either through conscious planning or through evolving conditions. Jackson and McKergaw (2002:3) say, “Change is happening all the time: our job is to identify and amplify useful change.” This quotation shows how permanent change is to us and the world we live; and how it is necessary to initiate change in the world. In this discussion the writer focuses on planned changes in our organisations or communities, changes that affect a large scale of people, change whose impact affects many people and last long, whose effect may take generations while still being felt. The change to be discussed is not due to scientific innovations or through natural experimentation but through social innovation. It is the change that affects our patterns of thinking and our ways of doing things. It is a change that affects the fabrics of our social existence. Some scholars have come to call it social entrepreneurships. By social it means it affects the way people live and the way people do things.
According to Wikipedia.com says ” a social entrepreneur is some one who recognises a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change.” It seems as if this discussion is drifting in void. To end this void let us put practical examples of social problems which could be solved through social innovations. Examples of social problems are poor accommodation or non-availability of accommodation, existence of diseases in our community, HIV/AIDS pandemic, non-availability of water and other sanitation problems, shortage of food, poor communication system, illiteracy, lack of clothing, poor road systems, poor sporting and recreational facilities. Let us consider an example of a social innovation that could have been used to solve a social problem. The emergence of HIV/AIDS disease means a break down in family structures. In some cases both parents die, and a family is left being headed by the eldest child. The eldest child could be a fifteen year old school boy. How could such wide spread social problem be solved? The creation of a net work to assist child-headed family can be instituted. For example a trust fund could be introduced to assist such families with food, clothes and school fees. That is a social innovation.
What is the aim of social entrepreneurship? The aim according to Wikipedia.com is to meet social and environmental goals. Whereas we have looked at an example of a social problem we can now, give an example of an environmental goal. An environmental goal could be to eradicate or reduce land pollution in a certain community. Let us take an example of a work community where plastics are an end product and below standard plastics are thrown away. What could be down as a solution? The solution could be recycling such a waste product. The local residents could be paid for collecting such waste paper, what could be termed waste paper vending. Such plastics could be sold to other industries that mostly use waste plastics. Another example of environmental management goal could be the planting trees in water ways. If water ways are left unattended gullies could develop and valuable soil washed away. These are examples of social goals and social entrepreneurship. Most of the work done by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is viewed as social entrepreneurship.
Probably it could be wise to look at an example of a renowned social entrepreneur. One of them is mother Theresa. She is renowned for championing the cause of children and humanity by her invention. She did all she could do to advance the interest of the poor. Organisations such as the international Red Cross are a product of social entrepreneurship. United Nations and its agencies is a by-product of social entrepreneurship. So far we have looked at examples of social problems and examples of innovative solutions, but we have to look at what is called social innovation. According to the Wikipedia.com, a social innovation refers to,” new strategies, concepts and organisations that meet the social needs of all kinds.” Again the Wikipedia .com sited the following as social problems: “working conditions, education, community development, health, micro-credit and distance learning.” In this particular instance and according to the Wikipedia.com, an example of a social innovation is distance education. So, for example, the existence of AIU is as a result of social innovation. And all students like me are gaining from a social innovation. What could the world be without distance and currently on line education? Why was distance education and on line education introduced? It was out of a need to meet the education demands of the financially disadvantaged population of the world, probably what CK Prakalad would call “Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP).”
Probably one more concept we need to dwell on is the one of capital venture. Social Venture capital, according to the Wikipedia.com, means, “capital investment that provides capital to businesses deemed socially and environmentally responsible.” In simple terms it means money and resources that are set aside to be used to solve social and environmental problems. The problem with many people is to think that it is only the duty of rich multi-national companies or billionaires to assist in this respect. No! It should be a challenge and a concern of every citizen and corporate organisation of the world. A lot of individuals could donate whatever they can to assist in the achievement of such noble goals. There are a lot of trust funds that are created, where individuals could contribute. We look forward to the future where every one must be socially responsible. If every citizen of the world could set aside US 1$dollar per month towards averting the impact of global warming, what could the impact be in a year’s time? The idea of social responsibility should permeate within the mind of every one and all of us whether we are the poor, the rich or the CEO of rich multinational companies. With that the world will be a better place, should I borrow Michael Jackson’s own words.
Let’s look further at the impacts and aspects of social entrepreneurship in more detail than before, point by point. The visible impact of social change must transcend over large areas, being it geographic, ethnic or racial. In other words the impact must affect a large cross-section of the population. It must affect a reasonable segment of a targeted group. By the term targeted group, we refer to the people in the same or similar circumstances who need assistance in a certain way. An example could be people between the age of eighteen years and twenty-four who may need to attend undergraduate courses. Among this target group there are many people who need financial assistance to further their studies irrespective of their race, place of origin, place of residence, among other considerations. Unaffordability of education presents a big social problem. Global sponsorship may be an innovation that is large enough in scale to be a social innovation. Almost all reputable universities offer either grants or scholarship as a means of assisting the socially- disadvantaged group. For example AIU has assisted many such needy students over the years. In the same area there is the new innovation of The University of The People. The University of the People based in the United States is an innovation targeted at the said target group. It is the first tuition free university. It was founded under the guidance and assistance of GAID-an arm of the United Nations. The scope of this innovation is international. This fulfils what Briskin (2009) talked about when he/she described the effect that people need to be part of settings where kindness towards other needy people is cultivated; to give others consideration and helpful hand.
The other aspect of social innovation is caring. A social problem is identified. A solution is sought because you care about those affected. Caring and concern are the key concern of social entrepreneurs- others choose to call them philanthropists. These are people who are there to assist others not because they need to gain anything out of it, but to assist others. The underlying motive of care and concern is towards other fellow human beings ‘problems and plights. This should never a concern of a few richest people. Many people must be involved. Heath (2004: 4) says, “Social reality is construed by many voices…” again there is a need for social entrepreneurship in corporate organisations. This has called for the creation of the Welfare Departments, community development projects and safety, health and environmental management (SHE) departments. As responsible social and human resources practioners, in particular we must be highly motivated and responsible for the social problems our workers face. As a human Resources Manager I must not assist the workers because it is my duty, but because they are fellow human beings who are vulnerable and who need help. At enterprise level the introduction of a revolving fund; catering for loans, sickness, among other social problems is a social innovation. At Chipinge Banana Company, located in Zimbabwe we introduced many welfare projects. These projects are co-funded by the company and the workers. The workers are the share holders in these projects. What it means is that the workers have a big say in running the projects and in the use of the funds. Therefore, the company becomes more responsive to the needs of the workers. This is currently a unique innovation in our province. And several companies have followed our example. Again the creation of the posts such as Community Liaison Officer, Safety, Health and Environmental Manager; and Safety, Health and Environmental Committees at the workplace is a social response to social problems. As human resources professionals we must champion the causes of social entrepreneurship. Other senior personnel such as the General Managers, Directors, production Managers must get seriously involved at a corporate level.
After discussing caring as a characteristic of social entrepreneurship, let’s shift our attention to shift in government patterns. There is need to shift government patterns. By this we mean the way things are being run. There is need to adopt newer systems of doing things. Bureaucracy is a disease that affects may institutions. There is need to decentralise decision making and operations if institutions have to respond urgently, effectively and efficiently to current challenges in the social field. The motto “That’s what we used to do” must be changed. The world is dynamic and that’s why the way we govern or do things must change. One way in which the world has evolved greatly in the twenty-first century pertains to democracy. In Change your Operational System(2010) the writer says about democracy,” Today’s leading management espouse the need to give employees more autonomy, more opportunities to fully engage in their work, and more choice about how they want to work in order to benefit both the employee and the employer.” The principles of democracy have encroached all spheres of our lives. The patriarchal period is over. The period of dictatorship in national governance is over. There is now participative management and governance. In the country there are now elections to choose the leaders we want. There are constitutional procedures for removing despots. A leader must be responsive to the needs of the people. Even in the family the time for the father to dictate every thing is over. The father has to consult. At work the manager has to consult, has to survey and respond accordingly. So to respond to the needs of those people involved we need to consult and involve them. With that, positive and meaningful change takes place. I am a typical fan of AIU’s policy and system of andragogy. The student is the master choice maker in what he/she wants to study. That has been a shift from the traditional and that underlines a shift in government of education. So, in order to achieve social solutions there is need for flexibility in the way we run and do business, including the ways we respond to social problems. No wonder why the Writer of Change your Operating System says,” Democracy is what creates the optimal conditions for learning, motivation, self-direction and a sense of ownership.” The sense of ownership makes everyone involved in introducing a social change to give everything in terms of effort and dedication. About the power and effect of democracy the writer of Change your Operating system gives the case study of DaVita. The writer says,” DaVita’s management team understood the power of employee voice in creating lasting transformation and a sense of ownership.”
It is not only the shift in governance that is vital, but a shift in behavioural patterns is also necessary in order to have meaningful social change. There is an old adage that says:” You can take a horse to the river but you can not force the horse to drink.” This saying emphasis the need for change in behaviour. It is the horse at the river which should drink the water. The horse must be willing. If it is not willing no drinking can take place. The effort is wasted. So the people involved must have an attitude that is suitable for change, certain willingness. The willingness to change must be based, as well, on motivation. As a leader motivate your subordinates to change. If you are the community leader is as persuasive as possible if you need to achieve a social innovation. You need not to think and behave in a straight line. You do not need to wear a straight jacket. Be ready to change as the weather changes. We have one social challenge the writer talked about at the beginning of this discussion that is the HIV? AIDS pandemic. The answer to curb this problem is in behaviour change .If you used to have unprotected sex; you need to change to use protection such as condoms. The willingness to change and the actual behaviour change is a requisitive in social innovation. Let us look at a particular example. Let us say you are in the business of making charcoal from timber. Your current site means that the smoke goes to the nearest residential area. However it is expensive to relocate the factory. What should a social entrepreneur do? Is he worried about the cost or be worried about serving the affected people? Although it is expensive to relocate, the willingness to change is based on your perception of the problem at hand. A social responsive manager will change the location of the plant. He must not only make the plans to change, or calculate the cost, he must implement the change at all cost. A social entrepreneur must have the guts to change behaviours that he or she feels must be changed to meet the people’s needs. The willingness to change and the actual behaviour changing action is important. Gallan (2010:1) says,” Transformation can only occur through behavioural evolution.” The word evolution implies a slow pace at which changes is cemented until the solution becomes a norm. Once a solution has been implanted, soon it will become a norm and it becomes cost-effective. Gilboa (2010) says that once a changed phenomenon becomes a norm it lasts and it becomes much lower in cost.
Making a social change is not a simple task. It takes time. It needs patience. Change must be made in manageable steps, not in large leaps at a time. For real change to evolve there must be a suitable time frame. Such a concept is also found elsewhere in nature. If you are a builder and you want to build a strong concrete, you do not applied excessive heat so that the concrete dries quickly. If there is, much heat the concrete cracks. Even in normal room temperature a good builder puts water on the concrete so that, the concrete dries slowly. The slower it takes the stronger the concrete becomes. That is what happens in introducing a social change. The social entrepreneur needs to take ample time to time out and implement the change. In due course the change becomes a norm.
A social consultant or a social entrepreneur must possess certain fundamental attributes or dispositions. Such an attitude or disposition must not be purely a borne in thing. Some people are born social entrepreneurs but many others are taught and conditioned to be such. Educational programs such as those undertaken at AIU can assist people to be socially responsible, and responsive to the needs of other fellow human beings. It is a core duty of educators, activist, philosophers, psychologists and writers to disseminate the awareness and consciousness of the necessity to assist to others. Just like how an individual is taught the skills and resilience needed in writing or creative work, people can be trained and conditioned to be social entrepreneurs. One essential thing for a person to assist others to have proper vision. Answers.com defines vision as,” unusual competence in discernment or perception, intelligent foresight.”So the ability to focus on what best to do in the future is important. Focus on the problem, focus on how the problem could be solved, focus on the impact of the solution to the beneficiary; and act according to that focus.
The vision can be expressed explicitly through a statement of the vision. Most companies and organisation write down their vision. Vision can also be shown through the organisation’s mission. We have an example of a social program that was put up to find solution to specified social problems. Empowerment prog.org says about their mission, “The mission of The Empowerment Program is to provide education, employment assistance, housing referrals and support services to women who are in disadvantaged positions due to poverty, incarceration, homelessness, HIV/AIDs infection or involvement in criminal justice system”. Here the vision of the linked organisation is clearly spelt. In this mission the scope of social problems that needs solution has been named as abject poverty, criminal justice system among others.
So the social entrepreneur must have a vision and capacity to assist humanity through the provision of needed facilities or the improvement and maintenance of sustainable ecological system. A personal social background can make someone such an entrepreneur or an educational background and awareness is needed. A person can be conditioned to have a feeling of empathy towards others. This could be done through awareness campaigns or creative artistic work such as films, poetry or music. There are different ways in which awareness can be done. Awareness through education, through face to face discussions. Awareness through creative work. Gallan (2010) talked about the importance of education in order to assist in effecting change. There may be need for educational and training background for some to be an entrepreneur. A detailed course work, theoretical and practical assignment can assist. The AIU vision and tutorial programs have such an objective. The power of media and awareness programs are vital. Human rights activists and other non-governmental organisation have a role to spread such awareness. The writers have also a role to play in creating awareness. It is therefore a role that must be played by various parties to assist in development of social entrepreneurship. Managers can create awareness programs and assign certain personnel with the responsibility to conduct training sessions to conscientise the other workers on the aspect of social responsibilities. Involvement on a corporate level on social programmes and social activities will assist employees to be socially responsible citizens. Through that organisations can mentor people who will assist in changing the world for the better.
The other characteristic of social entrepreneurs is a life commitment to initiate social solutions to mankind‘s social problems. If an individual has identified a social problem he wishes to solve he/she must be dedicated to deal with that problem not for a short space of time, but for a long period and ideally his entire life. An example could be the story and struggle of Martin Luther King who gave his entire life to make needed social and religious change over a long period of time. What he achieved has affected the lives of many people down to our times. Mother Theresa was a dedicated nun who worked tirelessly for her entire life to assist the poor. These people were sensitive to the people’s needs. Citing similar example of sincerity and consciousness for humanity, Rundle (2010) expressed himself as having been sensitive to what the community would enjoy.
Another important attribute of a person who is truly devoted to assisting in changing the lives of people through identification of social problems and then come up with lasting solutions is willingness to self-correct. When you have started on a long journey sometimes you will have to discover ways of dealing with challenges that you come along on the way. You should not wait for other people to correct you all the times. You may have to discover short cuts or you may have to discover ways of conserving the resources that you have. The ideas are that you have to observe things that around you, and take advantage of them so that you will afford to reach your destination. You may need to discover the right pace to travel so that you do not easily get tired. The idea is that you do not need just to be told everything, but you need to discover on your own and make rightful decisions and changes so as to suit to the conditions around you. The scientists would use the terms observe and adapt in order to survive. In this discussion we can call this self-correction.Encyclopedia.com defines self-correction as, “correcting oneself without external help.” So as you try to find a solution to a social problem, you come against some challenges, and most of these challenges require you to find solutions yourself. Why this is important is because on such issues you may not have many people who initially support you. If you rely mainly on outside help you may be discouraged by other people, who may be pessimistic or who may not see your vision at the start of your project.
An example where self correction is vital is when we set out a revolving fund at Chipinge Banana Company. The revolving fund was used to start fundraising projects. When the idea was borne and put forward to other people many people were against the idea of employees having to contribute towards their own welfare. In this project every interested employee was supposed to pay $1 per, month. A revolving fund committee was put in place. Initially, about 10% of the employees were interested and subsequently got involved. About 98% of other senior management staff was against this idea. At first they said that it was not a working idea, and suspected that the person who had started the project had a hidden agenda either to defraud the people or to have a personal financial gain. And that is the idea that can be found if a person wanted to solve a critical social problem. When the problem took off the ground those who were initially against, when they saw that it seemed to have been successful they became jealousy and tried to influence most employees against it. So where a new idea is implemented there is usually resistance. Instead of people assisting with ideas and resources they resist the purported change. That is the reason why a social entrepreneur must correct himself or herself; relying on outside help may lead to resistance and criticism that can ultimately lead to failure. Many people will only assist you or join you when they are convinced beyond doubt that the innovation is definitely helpful. In the example sighted above of the revolving fund, many of the people who initially resisted later supported the idea and rendered assistance. So self-reliance and self-correcting are vital attributes of the people who want to initiate and institute change.
Another essential attribute of people who want to bring social innovation is that of wishing to share credit. To be able to succeed in introducing change one needs as much support from as many people as possible. The people who get involved need credit for their support. In order to succeed in introducing change you have to be self-less or selfish-less. You need to consult widely; you need encouragement and support. For you to be able to achieve this you really need to make people to feel that the project is theirs and that their involvement is vital. So the credit needs to be shared. The success needs to be shared as much as you share the problem. One of the principles of change management is to involve as many people as possible, as long as those people are willing and committed. To achieve this some people who create change make use of committees. In order to share the credit and involve as many people as possible, in the introduction of the revolving fund, a commit was selected. Hitchcok (2008) emphasized the need to create self-directed teams and to consult as much as possible in order to implement change that affect and benefit many people. The principles of using committees and people participation were taken seriously at Chipinge Banana Company when they introduced the revolving fund. These committees brought about a lot of involvement. No wonder why Degraff (2007) emphasised that there is always need to select diverse and insightful individuals to join the leadership teams as participants in the” think tank” process Most people who were represented in the committee became committed to the change. In the committee, a cross-section of the employees was involved; women of various ages and from various work departments, men were recruited from various backgrounds, age and professions as well as from various work units. This brought up a big sense of ownership and the credit was not brought to the person who brought the idea, but to all the people who were involved including a lot of the workers who were willing to part with their money. The idea is that those who are involved in social changes must do it to help the communities where they stay, not to help themselves materially or otherwise .On this Heath (2004:4) says,” analysis of dialogue surrounding a crisis can be sharpened by giving attention to the narrative elements that emerge as various groups interpret the crisis”
When a person wants to initiate and develop a solution to a social problem, that person must be able to borrow ideas from different fields and interact with people of various backgrounds, profession and trades. For example to implement successful social change you need to have a rich background on various fields. You may need to understand accounting principles because you shall deal with finances, you need knowledge of economics because you may need investment to fund the projects, you may need to have knowledge of legal issues, and you need principles borrowed from sociology and psychology to deal with people. You must be a mult-disciplinarian. Robinson (2008) explained that learning should transcend across various disciplines for it to be most beneficial. Not that you have to study all these subjects at University but you need to consult. I attended a certain seminar that was based on environmental management one year. I was a teacher and a participant in the seminar. The first principles that people were taught there was the principle of de-roling. By De-roling it means people need to stop considering the positions in the companies or institutes where they come from. Some people were teachers, others were students, others were managers, and others were simple people from the community. People, who were there had to ignore their roles. So in other words there were no longer managers, teachers, students or community members. All those who were there were the same. That was important and that is still important. If there is no de-rolling students would not participate actively they would leave everything to be done and said by influential people such as managers. Failure to de-roll would mean very little involvement. This all calls for a mult-disciplinary approach to solving social problems. I saw people involved in social issues such as HIV/AIDS. This needs people who have an open view and who apply knowledge and skills gained from various areas. At a corporate level when you want to introduce social changes you need to stop thinking that you are a manager and that your decision – as a manager- are better than the decision of a general hand worker. Where committees work it has been seen that brilliant ideas may not come from CEOs, or Managers, but some times from general workers. In the revolving fund committee that has been discussed earlier on a number of brilliant ideas came from the general workers. Those ideas were implemented and the results were excellent. This however does not suggest that good ideas come from uneducated, simple people only. The point is that in brainstorming and surfing ideas we have to open and not accept ideas on the consideration of a person’s qualifications or position in the society.
The other essential aspect of introducing successful social change is to involve those whom are affected by the change or the program. What we are talking about here is empowerment of those who are affected by the proposed changes. Give the people involved the power to make their own decisions and to get actively involved. According to Joe.org, “empowerment is a social a multi-dimensional process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power in people for use in their own lives, communities and in their society.” So people must make decisions their own decisions where the proposed changes affect them. This brings on to them a sense of ownership. Even in the event of things not working according to the plan, these people will not shift the blame on the person proposing the change. The difficulties faced will be solved as a group again. This will also foster a spirit of resilience. A sense of ownership is a very powerful motivating factor to people. No one wants to see what she/he has worked for to fail. As many people are involved in a project there is going to be a lot of brainstorming and innovation when a problem presents itself before them. No projects or changes are without challenges. However the power of togetherness will make it easy to overcome difficulties. In the case of the earlier quoted revolving fund, at one time there was problem when we ran out of funds, but because we engaged many people from the onset, those who were involved worked hard so that we had increased membership and subsequently improved inflow of income.
In this discussion there has been the example of the revolving fund. This example is suitable as it meets the criteria of a social change. Firstly the vision for the introduction of the fund was to assist all employees of Chipinge Banana Company who at one time have problems that the company could not provide assistance towards. This involves assisting parents with fees for their children, assistance towards bereavement, assistance towards any social problems the committee feels it warrants assistance .The focus of the fund is that, the fund shall run as long as the company exists and will assist workers for generations. It is a change that affects many people. This innovation has already been applied in companies that are around the place. Despite the fact that the fund was introduced about a year ago it is being a case study for many companies and even communities around. The other essential thing is that there has been a fundamental paradigm shift. It was unheard of in our country that workers would champion their own welfare through a common fund. The fund can also be used to sponsor training workshops especially in issues of HIV/AIDs and safety issues at the work place. So it is a typical example to use in this discussion to exemplify the practicality of what is discussed here as it relates to the planning and implementation of social change. Although this is a small scale social change it is a sample for other major social changes. As for the Human Resources Manager in the said company and for the other managers and personnel it has been an n essential hands-on example of how to institute change. For the proposer of this innovation there has been a conscious way to follow the learned parameters and theories of managing change. The knowledge and skills acquired will be essential for future consulting in change management.
In the video watched there has been a case study of empowerment of the participants involved in the introduction and evolvement of the proposed changes. In this case the empowered people were the children that were the beneficiary of the child line service in India. That practical case brought a significant impetus on the idea of managing a social change. If in this project the affected children were greatly involved, what about circumstances in which we introduce changes that affect the adults or the educated population. It clearly demonstrates the importance and practicality of involving the affected people, no matter who they are, what their status is, where their live and what their backgrounds might be. This involvement is important in work place settings as well. The management team must involve the grassroots workers to be involved; their views on matters that affect them must be taken into consideration, and be greatly applied. It is great learning to us Human Resources personnel to involve the workers in issues that affect them. This has a big impact not only in motivating the workers but in creating a loyal, reliable, responsible and stable work force. At Chipinge Banana Company, a very stable company in terms of employee relations, the workers are highly involved. In most issues that affect them there is the use of committees. There are committees in sports teams, health and safety, HIV/AIDS awareness programmes, during end of year parties, among many other such instances. And the great results are that you create a stable work force. Again in the same company there is the open door policy on dealing with employee problems. The managers, the supervisors and forepersons are taught to deal with employee problems at any time and at any place. Employees must not wait to come to the offices assistance. The Human Resources Manager moves from place to place during the work days to hear the workers’ grievances and problems. I know the system is unique but it has also a unique way of making the workers happy and the work force stable.
Social innovations by their nature must not be very expensive. These must be cost effective. The reason is that there might be very few people who are willing to put in their monies there, just for the sake of assisting others. The issue here is to have small investments that sustain some social projects, rather than waiting for a time when there is a large sum of money. However with this small investment there must be great courage to ensure that the projects or changes succeed. It is the power of vision, courage and resilience that must be at work most in order to achieve and sustain a social innovation. Penton.com (2010:1) emphasised that the key to change is the nature of the innovation, its scope and applicability rather than the amount of funds required to invest in it. In its explanation it says,” innovation of your products, processes and services will be key to delivering results.” In the example of The Revolving fund, under discussion, the amount of initial capital injection was very small. For the first three months there was a cash inflow of US $80 per month only; however that amount kick started a project that is now after about a year has a capital of about $8000.00 and which has assisted more than 500 people in all. So it is the vision and courage that is of great essence to achieve great social innovations.
The video demonstrated the importance to impart and use soft skills. Soft skills are qualitative aspects that are essential for the success of projects. These are qualities that are not measurable but are essential .These are opposed to aspects of projects that are quantifiable. Money used to effect change can be quantifiable, the number of people involved in the projects is quantifiable, some resources such as motor vehicles involved can be quantifiable, but there are certain traits and characteristics that are essential for success of the innovations that are not numerable. In the video presentation, listening skill has been identified as a soft skill that is essential for social innovation to succeed. People involved in the projects must listen carefully to different points of view that come from the people involved. From listening then the people involved deduce the implication then later apply what is implied. Other soft skills which we can talk about include the communication skills, interpersonal relations, mutual trust among others. Heath (2004:4) says, “Communication is a corporate strategy for dealing with a major business interruption.” In this case Heath emphasizes the importance of communication in business and social spheres. The change agent must also have core value that globally acceptable. Such values as integrity, creativity, multi-skilling, problem solving, inquiry, flexibility accountability and transparency among others. He/she must be able to use the principles of good governance. The innovators and consultants must have such basic skills in order to be able to implement the proposed changes.
Another essential aspect is of ethical considerations. If you want to implement social changes you must have a high sense of ethics. You have to know what is just to the people and the community. Know what is good to all and what is acceptable. It is not considering the legal and economical aspects only that are important. Have a wider understanding of the community around where you are making the change and what is moral and acceptable to that area. This again calls for an interdisciplinary approach to introducing social innovations. Ethics are associated with certain disciplines which a social entrepreneur must be acquainted with, such as public relations, religious orientation or understanding social science principles. If you introduce something that is not morally acceptable in that area you wont succeed. If you introduce something that is a taboo in that area then you can not succeed. This calls for a lot of research before you come up with your innovations. The idea of consulting and empowering the people affected come handy in this regard as well. So on the other hand the social consultant must develop a lot of research skills and knowledge and use that before introducing any changes or programs in a certain area.
The other essential aspect is the willingness to work quietly. This means that although you work very hard, the intention is not to show people that you can come up with something spectacular. You work hard to achieve the mission you set out to achieve. It is not you who go about advertising how hardworking you are, but the community will observe that for itself and come in and join to assist you. There is need for humility in order to achieve the mission.
Then there is the idea of social blue print. That is need and ability to come up with innovative solutions to social problems that haunt the community. For the problems bedevilling the people a home grown solution should be devised fast enough to avert any catastrophe. This, however, also calls to adopt new ways and to adapt to other conditions for survival. Adaptation is another way that is used to solve social problems, especially problems that arise from perceptions. For example there is a perceived problem in Africa, the problem of homosexuals. To many people this is a problem that is causing sleepless nights to religious leaders, politicians, HIV/AIDS activists and human rights activists. But what is the solution the community is searching for? Will the community able to eradicate homosexuality? What real harm can homosexuality cause? It is a problem-yes. But it is a perceptional problem, and the only sure, cheap and easy solution is there- the community has to adapt to this new phenomenon, since it can not cause any catastrophe to the human race. Adaptation is a solution, and an added way to overcome this is through awareness programs so that the community come to accept the new phenomenon.
The ideas discussed in the video on how to change the world are very essential and practical. These aspects have a global focus and can be applied anywhere where change or innovation has to be made. The fact that in this discussion the writer based in Africa finds the suggestion applicable shows the universality of what was discussed in the video. The example of India shows that the ideas can not only apply in America, but also in Asia. When the writer followed the discussion on how to change the world he was able to give practical example from Africa to exemplified how useful the suggestions are and how applicable the recommendations are. The example from Brazil also shows the practicality of the ideas. The example of the revolving fund brings Europe into the picture. The idea of the revolving fund that is now being used across Africa has its beginning in Canada, which is a European Country. The implementation of the revolving fund was done after studying the Canadian example. So following the discussion on how to change the world, the description equally fits the change that started in Canada; the issue of the revolving fund. It is therefore important to note that the innovation, implementation and evaluation measures applicable in the first word countries can be done in developing countries. With this in mind it is easy to conclude that if we apply the concepts and philosophies explained and expanded in the video How to Change the World, surely the world can be changed, and together we can change it for the betterment of mankind.
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Nature versus Nurture