The Importance of Establishing Your Purpose to Sustain Impact

February 16, 2017 - 0 Comments

Working with Be The Change – a Greater Manchester based social enterprise built with the support of a local housing association – Direct Path were charged with helping the organisation realise its vision of more connected communities, and building on its existing mission to improve the residents quality of life.

Clarifying the wider purpose – of being “an ethical, sustainable and profitable social enterprise that people and partners want to work with and for”– focused our efforts on a networked model, holistically designed to improve the economic and social well-being of its residents, at the core of the societal solution being mapped out.

With the BeTheChange is already providing housing services, and personal support to its service users, Direct Path laid out three core objectives in reshaping the organisation. Increasing trading, providing training and work experience for excluded groups and building on its reputation for integrity and excellence were all key to maximising impact.

All underpinned by strategic partnerships leveraged across a more comprehensive portfolio of assets and franchises – and focusing their attention across environmental, property and personal services as key disciplines – we were able to co-create a strategy that enhanced their attractiveness for ongoing collaboration.

With a keen eye on bringing core service users, along with family friends and neighbours into the ecosystem of co-creating outcomes, alongside the managers, front-line staff and voluntary/community organisations already connected to Be The Change, the potential for energising and maintaining a skilled and diverse workforce increased exponentially.

“Ameena’s consultancy approach was transformative to our business. Working with the management team, Ameena coached us through growth challenges we were facing and helped us to reach clear, informed business decisions that have enabled us to pursue the right business direction for us and our market.”

Through a strategic planning day, held Direct Path identified three key areas of focus;

An intensive strategy aimed to grow their influence within their current remit, homed in on targeting key community issues which would impact sustainability, sharing resources across Be The Change teams and engaging residents in co-producing solutions to their own challenges and issues.

The integrative strategy, on the other hand, looked horizontally across the industry to other government agencies, housing providers and health organisations, with the intention of organising key players in service delivery, Be The Change would be able to sustain projects beyond their current short-term lifespans.

A diversification strategy was posited to help Be The Change grow beyond the confines of their industry. Through bringing in trainees and employees from the community, therein building its capacity and strengthening the social capital delivered through the social enterprise.

With the understanding that capacity was key – boosting in-house staff levels, streamlining cross-agency projects and events and managing the additional resource and insights generated through making progress – Be The Change was provided with a clear path to wholly connected and sustainable growth.