Aspire to introduce Social Change? 5 Things Not to Lose Sight Of

Prerequisite for Social Change : “The 21st century requires leaders who can navigate the unknown in an ever-changing world and bridge divides.” – Jacqueline Novogratz

There is no shortage of skill-based learning. Whether it’s hard skills like coding and design, or soft skills for communication and making a positive first impression, you are likely to find endless providers who will help you acquire these skills in a few months.

For those looking to make a profound social change in our world, upgrading your skills isn’t going to be enough. Our personal and professional progress often hinges on the changes that take time and perseverance. Society moves forward when change-makers embrace mindsets that focus on possibilities more than fears.

Here are 5 essential mindsets for the modern change-maker (and how you can start learning how to embrace them).

Don’t lose sight of the ecosystem

Sometimes you need to get out of the bubble to evaluate the issue you’re tackling and the progress you’re making. A systems approach can help you embrace complexity and uncertainty while leveraging them to create sustainable ways to create change. Learn more about systems practice1

Let empathy help you see what you’re missing

A social change addendum: always keep the customer in mind. If empathy isn’t at the heart of your process, you may be missing key insights that will help you move your project forward. The Human-centered design course will teach you how. Learn more about Human-centred Design2

Done is better than perfect

The only way to keep up with the speed of innovation is to be lean. Pioneered and perfected in Silicon Valley, this idea is more than just a methodology. It’s a way of thinking. The next time you have a new idea, think first how you can testvalidate, and adapt your vision. Learn more about Lean start-up principles for social impact.3

Fight to reduce friction everywhere

No friction is too small in the eyes of behavioral economist Dan Ariely. According to Dan’s research, people don’t make good decisions, not because they don’t have the right information, but because the barrier to making that behavior change is simply too high. If you want to change a behavior, then remove the additional steps that are creating tension. Learn more about behavioral economics.4

Allow yourself to be persuaded

As a leader, changing your mind has always been perceived as a weakness. But, in a world that’s changing faster than ever, successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their own minds is the greatest competitive advantage. Today’s leaders must be open-minded and have the persuasive skills of pulling at the right heartstrings. Learn more about Persuadability.5

Originally posted on +Acumen Blog


  1. Course: Systems Practice – Learn to use systems thinking approach to moving from “impossible” to impact
  2. Course: Introduction to Human-Centered Design – Learn from to use human-centered design for social innovation
  3. Course : Lean Startup Principles for the Social Sector – Apply the innovation methods from Silicon Valley to social issues
  4. Master Class: Dan Ariely on Changing Customer Behavior – Harness the principles of behavioral change to reach more customers and create impact
  5. Master Class: Al Pittampalli on Open-Mindedness – Gain the most hidden skill in modern leadership