Last night I went to the opening of ss48 in Brisbane and listened to keynote speaker Nick Barter, the head of the MBA program at Griffith Uni. I have often pondered on doing an MBA but always thought it to be too establishmentarianist (is that even a word?) and pandering to the ‘make money at all costs’ approach to doing business. Maybe I’m just stuck in the 80’s and need to realise that Gordon Gecko isn’t held up as a hero any more. In any case I also am reminded of one of the points from 100 Social Enterprise Truths; “# 12. You don’t need an MBA to be a social entrepreneur; you need a JFDI”
However, Nick Barter did get me thinking, so I came home and looked into MBA’s at Griffith. I discovered that they have three core values; Responsible Leadership, Sustainable Business Practices, and Global Orientation (with a focus on Australia’s region of south east Asia). Nick’s talk focused on the important point that ALL businesses should be ‘social’ and ‘ethical’ and not just leave these concepts to social enterprise to incorporate into their business models. Doesn’t sound Gordon Gekko-ish at all.
He also left the budding social entrepreneurs present at ss48 with the advice to ‘dream big’. A common theme in entrepreneurial circles. Yes, I dream big, I dream of a world of equality, social justice, and environmental sustainability. But, for my social enterprise I, (to quote Jan Owen) ‘get pointy’. As I mentioned in a previous post, there’s no point dreaming of franchising your enterprise to 100 different towns, cities, and even countries thus creating huge scale social impact (big dreams right there) if you can’t get your own books in order. So, my social entrepreneurial premise remains…Dream Big, Get Pointy. But, maybe while I’m getting pointy I shall dream of an MBA….