If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants
Here you will find brief descriptions and short videos on the principles and ideas on which we base our activities at Enactus EUR. We hope that these snippets will spark your interest to dive deeper into these topics and enhance your understanding of social entrepreneurship.
Human-Centred Design Thinking
Human-centred design is “a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs”, this is how IDEO.org describe Human-centred design in the first weeks reading of their course. What this means is, that when creating solutions for a challenge one constantly checks back with the need group and customer to find what works best and what suits their needs, together with them.
There are three phases in this approach, which start with the Inspiration Phase, where the focus lies on gaining a deep understanding of the need group one works with. This includes interviews, in-context immersions, talking to experts and a whole lot of empathy in order to really get to the core challenge. The following Ideation Phase is all about identifying that gained knowledge, and making sense of the experiences and impressions gained, coming up with a bunch of ideas, building prototypes, and experimenting to learn even more. Like said before, this is being done whilst constantly sharing what one is doing with the people one is designing for and checking back whether this is what they need or not. The last phase, the Implementation Phase, is where you will realise those ideas and concepts into sustainable, valid solutions and bring them to the market.
This TED talk gives a great introduction to this approach: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=QI83OGQUcNc &ab_channel=TEDxTalks.
We want our ventures to be as actionable as possible, meaning we do not want to get stuck tweaking our product or service. We want our teams to go out into the world, try their idea and use that feedback for growing and improving their products or services. More specifically, a core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Once the MVP is established, a startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect question.
We have to look at the problems we want to solve with not only an analytical view but also a holistic approach. We need to take the interrelations of all elements of a system into account when we are building social ventures.
Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a way of visualising the strategy of your business idea all on one page. It might be helpful to see where there are still unanswered questions or simply to be able to communicate your idea more easily.
This video by Strategyzer gives quite a good insight into what the BMC entails: https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas.
Theory of Change
At Enactus EUR, we use Theory of Change to make sure that we are making the impact we are intending to make by eliminating as many assumptions as possible. We do that by creating a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context.
These short videos should give you a quick teaser of what Theory of Change is all about and why we like it so much.
Effective altruism is a utilitaristic approach to philanthropy that relies on impact measurement and cost/benefit analysis to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It was introduced and is promoted by the philosopher Peter Singer.
He explains his thoughts in this TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Diuv3XZQXyc&ab_channel=TED.
You will only achieve great things together and learn as much as you can if you trust each other and enjoy hanging out with your teammates. Trust isn’t built overnight though, it is built through spending time together, having fun, and getting to know each other. So, have dinner together, get wasted, whatever makes you happy.
Another super important thing for a happy and high performing team is feedback. Feedback does not only mean talking about points to improve. It also means acknowledging the things that are already going great and celebrating the small wins. This will enable you to learn both professionally and emotionally and grow as a team. Creating and maintaining a vivid feedback culture can be a tricky thing because we have the tendency to get defensive when receiving feedback. So be patient with each other!
Shared values and motivation
The last important thing we think will make you have a good team culture is shared values and motivation. Before you start working together, take the time to talk about what drives all of you on an individual level and how you envision working together. Then write it down. Really do it. ;) Having a shared agreement of how you want to work together and a shared ambition can be very powerful and you can look back at what you have written down when times are not so rosy sometimes.
While it looks like this section is especially targeted at the team leader, these things actually apply to all team members equally. When it comes to leadership in a student organisation, we believe a few things are important:
Don't take yourself too serious
Just because you are the team leader does not mean you know more than the rest of you team. Be mindful of the fact that you are not a perfect leader yet and that you are still learning. It’s ok if you don’t know how to be the best leader yet. Just be authentic about it and always ask for feedback.
Learn how to be a kick-ass listener
The most important thing you do as a leader is not to speak but to listen. Practice to listen actively and guide your team members to get the best out of themselves through asking them the right questions.
Don’t be afraid of using clear language when you need to. That is part of your job, but be fair when you do so.
As a team leader you have to make sure that all team members stick to what you collectively agreed upon as a team, for example, that you all show up on a certain time or do a certain task and if one of your team members does not do so, respectfully ask why that happened and if necessary remind him/her about your collective agreement.
Lead by example
This one sounds simple, but can be hard in practice sometimes: Do not expect a behaviour from your team members that you do not follow yourself.
Trust first and be slow in anger
Showing your teammates that you trust them is the most empowering thing you can do. Encourage them in their abilities and give them freedom in their work. Do not micro-manage. Your job is to frame the problem/task in the best possible way (together with your teammates), not to do the job for them. If something goes wrong, stay calm and be slow in anger. As a leader, you have the opportunity to set the tone in your team. If you stay calm and focused on finding a solution, so will your team. If you freak out, so will your team.