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Your ‘Steady State’ Goals (Social & Financial)

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.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]If you have any further questions about steady state social and financial goals for your social enterprise, please contact us at[/author_info] [/author]

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]This blog is part of the Trico Foundation’s effort to capture what it learns as it works to close gaps in society by building capacity and innovation in social entrepreneurship. The flagship effort in this regard is our A.S.E.S.S. TLC (Tools, Links and Coaching) page where you can find most of our thinking on these issues and worksheets designed to help advance your social enterprise idea. Stay tuned for further blogs on the entrepreneurial mindset (including crossing the chasm, effective learning, and overcoming cognitive bias) and the mechanics of successful social enterprises.

We are excited by the progress we are making, but know we still have much to learn. We would value your perspective and feedback. Please join the conversation on twitter.[/author_info] [/author]


Resources Utilized:

Maurya, Ash. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works. O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2012.

Aulet, Bill. Disciplined Entrepreneurship. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Christensen, Clayton M., Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David. S. Duncan. Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice. HarperCollins, 2016.

Collins, Jim. Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t. HarperCollins. 2001

Dyer, Jeff; Gregersen, Hal; Christensen, Clayton M.. The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. Harvard Business Review Press, 2011

Gunther McGrath, Rita, and Ian C. MacMillan, Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity. Harvard Business Review Press, 2009.

MacMillan, Ian and James Thompson. The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Wharton Digital Press, 2013.

Michelman, Paul. “Why Eric Ries Likes Management.” Strategy + Business Online, 15 Jan, 2014, accessed

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