Ask Deloitte About: Social intrapreneurship: RePurpose offerings can help advance social responsibility in higher education

By Holly Holliday posted 06-25-2018 08:15 AM


Creative reuse of existing assets in higher education
2018 is seeing seismic changes in the workforce, workplace, and workplace technologies. Based on this year’s Global Human Capital Trends survey of more than 11,000 business and human resource (HR) leaders, as well as interviews with executives from some of today’s leading organizations, it’s clear that a fundamental change is underway. Organizations are no longer assessed solely on traditional metrics such as financial performance or quality of products or services. Today, organizations are increasingly judged on the basis of relationships with workers, customers, and communities, as well as their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises to social enterprises.
The 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report showcases a profound shift facing business leaders worldwide: rising expectations for organizations to solve social and environmental issues. This shift reflects the growing importance of social capital in shaping an organization’s purpose, guiding relationships with stakeholders, and influencing ultimate success or failure. As such, social intrapreneurship—the ability to develop and promote practical solutions to social or environmental challenges—is now critical for maintaining an organization’s reputation; attracting, retaining, and engaging workers; and cultivating customer loyalty.

Why should higher education institutions care about social intrapreneurship?
The higher education community is at an inflection point. Like their counterparts in business, college and university leaders—presidents, chancellors, provosts, finance, and technology leaders—are facing unprecedented disruption across the academic enterprise.
While higher education leaders fall outside the 11,000 business and HR professionals surveyed in the 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, colleges and universities are undergoing a similar shift that makes social intrapreneurship critical to the health of their business

Student interests and expectations are shifting
Eighty-seven percent of millennials believe organizations should be measured by more than financial performance and 94 percent of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a social cause. As these beliefs inform the career interests of millennials and subsequent generations, colleges and universities will need to offer experiences that equip students with the skills and mindsets to pursue purposeful careers.

Higher education must adapt to shifting expectations
In today’s higher education environment, employees seek meaningful work and stakeholders expect organizations to deliver social and environmental value. Institutions are under performance pressures for continual improvement and innovation, including higher expectations for understanding and connecting with students, collaborators, and communities.

What do social intrapreneurship concepts look like in higher education?
Many colleges and universities have used social intrapreneurship to solve critical challenges within their organizations while providing practical solutions to broader societal issues. These social intrapreneurship solutions span from incremental process shifts to fundamental shifts in how an organization engages with other sectors. Leading organizations operate simultaneously across all three levels.

How can higher education institutions respond to market shifts?
Being a socially-conscious institution means investing in the broader social ecosystem in ways that add value to your organization and surrounding organizations in the communities in which you operate. Educational leaders should form relationships with regulatory bodies that shape the “rules of the road”; work collaboratively with them to create and sustain a fair, just, and equitable marketplace; and partner with communities and local organizations to help sustain a steady flow of talent with the skills to pursue meaningful work in a changing career environment.
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