The hybrid ideal
Today it is clear that the independence of social value and commercial revenue creation is a myth. In reality, the vectors of social value and commercial revenue creation can reinforce and undermine each other. The social consequences of the recent financial crisis demonstrated with great clarity the danger of “negative externalities”—social costs resulting from corporate profit-seeking activities. But in some cases, “positive externalities” may also exist. It is this possibility that integrated hybrid models seek to exploit.
When we talk to entrepreneurs and students about hybrid organizations, a common theme that emerges is what we call the “hybrid ideal.” This hypothetical organization is fully integrated—everything it does produces both social value and commercial revenue.4 This vision has at least two powerful features. In the hybrid ideal, managers do not face a choice between mission and profit, because these aims are integrated in the same strategy. More important, the integration of social and commercial value creation enables a virtuous cycle of profit and reinvestment in the social mission that builds large-scale solutions to social problems.
It is wonderful to see so many people waking up simultaneously to the same basic unified frameworks. People are catching on to it from so many diverse perspective it is very humbling.
The overlap and diversity of perspectives is interesting for many reasons. "The Hybrid Ideal", for instance, is a very clearly transhumanist value, but I imagine that the number of people involved in producing or sharing this content that explicitly recognize it as such is vanishingly small.
I personally get this content through the small-but-growing network of businessmen and entrepreneurship whose interesting organizational strategies have been filling my stream. This amuses me somewhat, because I'm an anarchist looking to seize the means of production, yet somehow we've become bedfellows in the transition.
Interesting times indeed.
Gideon Rosenblatt originally shared this post:
In Search of the Hybrid Ideal
The “hybrid ideal” – the hypothetical organization that is fully integrated—everything it does produces both social value and commercial revenue.
This piece, from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, is an excellent look at hybrid organizations. It provides some good introductory background and then concentrates on four main challenges to running these types of organizations:
* Legal Structure
* Customers and Beneficiaries
* Organizational Culture and Talent Development
Those of you who know me, may also know that I spent 9 years of my life running precisely this type of organization – a mission-driven technology consulting shop. The challenges that this article outlines are bang-on.
This is a deep dive, and not for everyone, but if you are interested in understanding this burgeoning area, I highly recommend you read this all the way through.
"In Search of the Hybrid Ideal"
By Julie Battilana, Matthew Lee, John Walker, & Cheryl Dorsey
#socialenterprise #mission #soulfulcompany #socialchange