Tunnel Vision Will Kill Your Social Enterprise

I mentioned in my previous blogs, trust and building business relationship is a key tool for Islamic Social Entrepreneurs. I also mentioned trust is a very fragile knot – it can break easily if it is not maintained and nurtured. I personally have lost trust in some of the people I used to have a relationship with and now will never do business with them. And once the trust is broken, it cannot be mended – it cannot be fixed. So it is vital to work on the relationships and trusts and ensure it is lasting.
The other thing I wanted to touch on is Tunnel vision which is a failure for business leaders to see the big picture, causing them to focus on a particular outcome and to filter all information and evidence through the lens provided by that outcome. This may result in the enterprise leader concentrating on a single idea to the exclusion of all others. This is a mistake for Islamic Social Entrepreneurs and may even cause the enterprise to fail. I am currently focusing on this topic and writing a section on this- more can be read in my book when it is published.

Islamic Social Entrepreneurs who plan on succeeding over the next 25 years would be wise to create a different plan. A better approach would be to first start asking some questions and listening to solid advice. Some of the questions to answer and pay attention to include:

  • What are they seeing and hearing in the marketplace?
  • What do they see your competitors doing that your socialĀ  enterprise is not?
  • What are some things your social enterprise could do that your competitors are not doing?
  • What are your customers asking for?
  • What are some products or services they think would be of value to your customers?
  • What are the social issues your enterprise wants to solve?
  • How would your social enterprise measure social impact?

Regarding your customers, some actions you could take are:

  • Closely observe their buying patterns.
  • Ask them what kind of services or products they wished you would offer.
  • Ask them what kind of social impact they would like to focus on.
With Kind Regards,
Dr. Thamina Anwar
Founder – Trade Not Riba dot Com