At A Glance – Hybrid Organisations

Meet the organisations reconsidering traditional business models to increase profit and create change 

Hybrid organisations have been disruptive since they emerged in the 1970s. With roots in the voluntary sector, they use multiple structures to support a social mission. They can be referred to as non-profits or for-profits, but ultimately share a common goal – transforming traditional approaches and overcoming obstacles to create change. Hybrid organisations are designed to confront social or environmental issues, using elements from different sectors to operate. They tend to be committed to making positive impacts on a chosen cause, and are the result of conscious entrepreneurs catering to equally mindful consumers.

In recent years, hybrid organisations are growing in popularity due to market opportunity. It’s a competitive market to navigate, but one with huge potential, particularly with the tools available at present including emerging technology, data insights, and new or amended legislature. An example is Change.org, a platform where people can create petitions. Since the company collects money when people sign or donate to these causes, it is a for-profit hybrid organisation. 

Generating capital is a logical step for hybrid organisations. It is possible to create change and profit, so long as the conditions are right. Strong communicators within the leadership team are vital. They must manage workloads and workflows to make sure the distribution of work is appropriate and productive for achieving goals. 

Although collaborative approaches and flexibility are often associated with hybrid organisations, their future success depends on setting rigid goals. Without clear aims for both social and profitable aims, it becomes difficult to determine whether the business is meeting its targets. Hybrids should determine where their funds will come from, the revenue model they will use, and how they will feed into their overall purpose. 

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