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Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Who drives transformation in society? How do they do it?

In this compelling book, strategy guru Roger L. Martin and Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally R. Osberg describe how social entrepreneurs target systems that exist in a stable but unjust equilibrium and transform them into entirely new, superior, and sustainable equilibria. All of these leaders—call them disrupt
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Change is usually led or inspired by a few, their actions creating a wave and latterly change as people either follow suit, adapt or switch course. Not every pioneer will effect change and one current term de jour is “social entrepreneur” and in this book the authors argue that such people are helping push change by observing systems and technologies that are ripe for transformation, sometimes going out on a limb, but nonetheless trying…

This is a bit of a specialist read, looking at the theory o
Collette Brennan
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Great book for anyone who is looking to make social impact. It clearly addresses how we have to do more than "do good," we have to "to good better." I gave only 3 stars, because the writing wasn't as intriguing to me. ...more
Kyle Harrison
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Speaking of social entrepreneurship, this was the last book I read for the year. This was, by far, the best introduction to social entrepreneurship I’ve ever read. They focus on each phase of creating a social solution with insights like understanding the world; envisioning a new future; building a model for change; and scaling the solution.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this book provided some really interesting background to social entrepreneurship and how social entrepreneurship works (which, as the subtitle of the book, is the main point), even if some parts seemed fluffy or repetitive. I found it easy to read and engaging, which are two very good perks to assigned school reading.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book is for Bill Gates, not for me.

Technically, some insights, but badly written, too many stories, too much detail.

When will these authors understand, nobody cares about those details. Why not save both of our time?
Marissa Getts
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Claire Murashima
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This taught me a lot about the basics of social enterprise & inspired me to set my goal as shorting the equilibrium not just doing good in the world.
Cash Allred
Jan 07, 2021 rated it liked it
If you have no idea what social entrepreneurship is, this is a good start. I didn't find any of the insights mind-bending, but I did find it inspiring. ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I could only get through about 30% of the book, so take my review with a grain of salt. But with the initial chapters and anecdotes, I feel justified for this decision and review. The book begins with high praises for robber baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for having a nice idea to start free libraries. There is no enthralling or compelling history of how Andrew Carnegie crushed the immigrant employees in his steel factories and railroads with blood and force; how he suppressed wages le ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not exactly sure why, but I had high hopes for this book. I feel that it has been frequently referenced in various conversations I've had regarding social impact / innovation. But after reading the forward and intro, I realized that I needed to shift my expectations and recognize that the book is intended to be a guide for understanding their social entrepreneurship framework, which although seems pretty straight-forward, was really brought to life in context through the various "case studie ...more
Dec 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I had reviewed this book for the Hindu Business Line. A link to that is pasted here

I was a little disappointed at their Indian choices of companies or ventures. AMUL was a glaring omission. Lijjat was another bottom up one. And the choice of Aadhaar is mystifying. The only explanation I have is that Aadhaar was included because of Nandan Nilekani. Otherwise, how can principles of a business be applied to something that is part of an infrastructure and not
Vicky Griffith
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to a handful of organizations that have made massive impact on the lives of the poor -- and a framework from which to consider new approaches. A very readable guide for newbies like me in the global development world.
Joma Palana
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A quick read but one of the scholarly books on the subject of social entrepreneurship. The authors provide a definition and a framework for it, contrasting it with government and private business, and arguing that social entrepreneurship does have a place, indeed, is necessary in today's world. The bar is set high for one to be a social entrepreneur: they must change the existing equilibrium to a new one, and not just provide incremental solutions, very much in the spirit of Peter Thiel's Zero t ...more
Karen Chung
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for anybody trying to make something in the world better, and then get beyond "better". Even if you're trying to do it through a business start-up, this book will open your eyes to new ways to enhance and expand your vision that you may not have otherwise thought of.

A quick-reference guide to changing the world through social entrepreneurship:

Step 1: Understanding the World
Step 2: Envisioning a New Future
Step 3: Building a Model for Change
Step 4: Scaling the Solution
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This reads like an academic book and should be approached that way too. You have to be extremely interested in social entrepreneurship or leadership for this to be valuable to you. That being said, the case studies were amazing, but it made me redefine myself because after hearing of such transformative social impact I feel like my own endeavor is barely making a scratch.
Mark M. Whelan
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mills College Library
658.408 M3829 2015
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Roger Martin is the Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management and the Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness. From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean. Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachu ...more

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