A healthy culture is essential in any organisation. In a social enterprise, organisational culture and mission are intertwined as people are drawn to help achieve change and make a difference. But we cannot rely purely on the mission to ensure a healthy culture.

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Too often this is the case in social enterprises. A reliance on the powerful vision of the founders which while essential and highly motivating, does not guarantee growth or sustainability, nor is it a panacea for all ills. And as Tom Rippin, whose On Purpose social enterprise develops leaders for the sector, says, “too many social enterprises pin their hopes on ‘Friendly Filanthropic Foundations’” in their early years. Culturally and financially, a more robust structure is needed to build a lasting legacy.

My years running businesses, observing organisational culture in SMEs, PLCs and NPOs and writing and speaking on corporate governance, have given me a good idea of what works, or what is healthy. Through my corporate governance work, I also know the best – the only reliable – way to ensure you know what is happening in your organisation, to be able to act to maintain that healthy and responsible culture.

Developing your organisational culture to deliver on the agreed goal in a way which benefits people, the planet and profits/surpluses – the Triple Bottom Line.

  • Culture “audits”: an independent view of your culture, based on observing and interviewing staff across all levels of the organisation, giving you valuable and actionable insights
  • Systems: harnessing technology to facilitate communication, transparency and accountability (governance) and building the sense of community
  • Training: often leaders and teams have radically different training programmes; I co-ordinate training so that while the perspective changes, the fundamentals (values, concepts, etc) are unified, ensuring everyone is singing off the same song sheet

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