Altering Mindsets: A Foundation For Creating Social Impact
Increasingly, social impact is being prioritized into the missions of organizations. My original training is as a licensed social worker, so as you can imagine, I am all for positive social impact. I am concerned, that social impact is becoming just another buzz word driven by forces outside of the C Suite. When driven by forces external to the organization, solutions frequently become driven by external measurements. I am concerned the "human elements" are left out of the strategic equation. When I refer to "human elements", I am referring to perspective and mindset. One cannot ignore the human elements of a social process and still achieve socially-minded results.
If organizations were to tend to the human elements of their organization by increasing self-awareness, helping employees get out of their comfort zones, and incorporating constructive conversations into employees' daily methods of working together, wouldn't we already be creating social impact? When employees expand their perspectives as a part of their daily work, when employees learn how to have constructive conversations without polarizing and dividing, and when employees gain an ability to adapt their thinking, don't all those things inherently have a greater social impact?
If we want to positively affect our environment for increased sustainability, sharing of resources, increased health and wellness, community safety, education, peace, and constructive disagreement, what could possible get us there any faster? After all, social impact covers a broad swath, but doesn't all change come from within the human experience?
Mindset drives perspective,and mindset comes from attachments to a particular worldview, traditions, and values. Mindset is created through experiences and exposure. Mindset is also something people generally hold on to tightly. I urge those interested in bringing social impact into their business to revamp their work cultures. I challenge you to take a moment and evaluate your business for its existing mindset, perspectives which are no longer relevant or support your current goals, what the appetite for change is and how you will sustain and grow a shift in internal culture. More specifically, does your organizational culture allow for and incorporate new perspectives and processes for altering mindsets? If social impact is to take hold in organizations, then it must be fully embraced by those leading and working within the organization and their supply chains.
There is an old saying which applies here, "You can't fix a problem with the same mind that created it." So to find new solutions and alter how we define business impact, it would serve us well to place "altering mindsets" on the "to do" list.
Mary Kay Delvo is the owner of INspiring SIGHT and the Director of Ideation & Catalyst for Connect the Grey, both based out of Minneapolis. She specializes in helping businesses and organizations "Put a new lens on decision-making". Her work is driven by a cross-sector, systems-based and self-awareness approach with an emphasis in the area of human and emotional development. Please contact Mary Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss further.