Abstract for: “Strategy Dynamics of a Social Enterprise in India” – Impacts of System Dynamics on conventional strategy formulation

This paper presents a systems-based method for developing a strategic expansion plan for a leading social enterprise that delivers Internet-facilitated vocational training in rural India. A System Dynamics model was built to complement the main spreadsheet model prepared for the strategy exercise. The SD model provides a flexible testing environment that permits a clearer view of the dynamic elements of the business plan and enables the assumptions of a broader set of stakeholders to be incorporated. Most businesses rely on static spreadsheet modeling to design long-term strategies and action plans; this paper describes the importance of identifying, building and maintaining resources that generate revenue or social good, and effectively managing those resources that add costs. In particular, this paper focuses on the effect of delays in “progression pathways” (which are essential business processes to build service capacity) on the performance of the organization.