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Perspectives

The rise of the social enterprise

Where performance meets purpose

Achieving success in today’s market requires organizations to transform from a business enterprise to a social enterprise. Hitting the traditional marks of business performance are no longer the only defining metrics of success. Businesses today are being valued as much by their interactions and impacts on society as they are by their financial results.

From business enterprise to social enterprise. Why now?

Corporate responsibility has long been a focus, but the move from business enterprise to social enterprise calls for a profound shift in thinking and doing beyond this, driven by several factors:

  • A greater expectation of business leaders to respond publicly to society’s biggest issues such as income inequality, health care, and diversity.
  • Growing power of the individual to share their messages and beliefs with the market, using social media to bring that message to life to create a powerful impact. 
  • Increasing calls for organizations to be more thoughtful in managing technology and its impacts on jobs and data privacy. 
  • Urgent awareness in the C-suite, evidenced by growing calls for businesses to make profound and positive impacts on society as a whole.

Human capital must be an enterprise issue. To successfully make the transition from business enterprise to social enterprise, leaders in finance, IT, HR, marketing, sales, risk, and operations all need to work together as a "symphonic C-suite" to optimize the value of the human capital balance sheet.

What is a social enterprise organization?

A social enterprise is an organization whose mission combines revenue growth and profitmaking with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network.1 This includes listening to, investing in, and actively managing the trends that are shaping today’s world. It is an organization that shoulders its responsibility to be a good citizen, serving as a role model for its peers, and promoting a high degree of collaboration at every level of the organization.

A CEO’s perspective on social enterprise

Watch Merck’s chairman and CEO, Kenneth Frazier, discuss how a social enterprise drives performance and value.

How to thrive as a social enterprise

To thrive as a social enterprise, businesses need to focus on five key issues.

From workforce to driving force.

Now is the time to make the shift from business enterprise to social enterprise. Deloitte can help you adapt to these changing dynamics and capitalize on the opportunities so you can transform your workforce into a powerful force for change.

Learn more > 

Endnotes

1 Deloitte 2018 Human Capital Trends Report

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