At Trico Foundation we often talk to groups about their goals for their social enterprise and discuss what their venture will look like when it has reached its desired ‘steady state’. With this term we are referring to the state where most assumptions have been resolved and progress starts being steady (your social enterprise is at a place where your revenue and expenses have stabilized). It is important to note that your ‘steady state’ may or may not equal your ultimate goal and if you are struggling with defining your steady state, five years is often a good proxy to start with.
Having a steady state vision does three key things:
- Confirms the big picture end game of ‘why are you doing this’ (this will also help you convince others to support your venture);
- Helps zone in on the key things you must test (including pilot projects), the order in which you must test them, and improves your capacity to assess and learn from the impact of those results; and
- Enhances your ability to see how key elements in your plan are connected. This, in turn, enhances your ability to handle any changes that you will need to make. And make no mistake, changes will need to be made.
Add it all up and working from a steady state vision of what you would like your venture to be will have a huge impact on your chances of success.
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