Human Capital Strategy for Social Enterprises

Build a values-based culture to attract, develop and retain employees

Course Details

  • Price: FREE
  • Start Date: April 2018
  • Time: 3 hours/week
  • Duration: 7 weeks
  • Partner: Hitachi Foundation, Anne-Claire Broughton

What You’ll Learn:

  • Develop organizational values and culture intentionally
  • Learn practical tactics for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and firing
  • Draft your organizational structure and plan for how it will adapt over time
  • Structure monetary and non-monetary compensation so that employees feel valued and rewarded
  • Gain strategies to implement professional development programs and manage employee performance


When scaling a business, many entrepreneurs consider the financial capital they’ll have to raise. However, a social enterprise’s ability to succeed in complex markets is also contingent on its human capital.

Developing strategies to attract, retain and develop employees can give a business significant competitive advantage. This course will lead you through the basics of developing a human capital strategy.  You’ll learn how to intentionally design your company’s values and culture, recruit and hire the right people, adapt your organizational structure as you scale, and build effective teams.  You’ll also learn how to structure compensation, manage employee performance, and offer relevant professional development. This course is ideal for early stage entrepreneurs thinking about how to build and grow their teams in impact-driven companies.


Project-Based Course

Course Syllabus

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  • 5 reading guides highlighting case studies and examples
  • 5 discussion guides to lead your team through collaborative discussions about your talent strategy
Culture and Values
  • Reading: Case Studies from Ethiochicken, New Story Charity, and Edubridge
  • Reading: Why Human Capital Matters
  • Reading: Elements of Human Capital Strategy
  • Reading: Key Mindsets
  • Reading: Starting with Values and Culture
  • Reading: Examples of Organizational Values
  • Exercise: Defining Organizational Values
  • Exercise: Translating Your Values into Action
  • Reading: Translating Values into Culture
  • Resource: Group Discussion Guide
Organizational Structure
  • Reading: Case Study of Edubridge
  • Reading: Why Organizational Structure Matters
  • Reading: Start With Your Business Model
  • Exercise: Connecting Your Business Model to Your Talent Needs
  • Reading: 4 Types of Organizational Structures
  • Exercise: Connecting Your Talent Needs to Your Organizational Structure
  • Reading: Communication with the Organizational Structure
  • Reading: Planning for Change
  • Reading: Phases of Organizational Growth
  • Reading: Succession Planning
  • Exercise: 3 Versions of Your Organizational Structure
  • Resource: Group Discussion Guide
  • Reading: Case Study from New Story Charity
  • Reading: Introduction to Recruiting
  • Reading: Additional Resources for Structuring Your Recruiting Process
  • Reading: How the Typical Recruiting Process Unfolds
  • Reading: Identify Your Talent Needs
  • Reading: Scoping the Job
  • Reading: Sourcing Candidates
  • Reading: Selecting Candidates
  • Exercise: Searching for Cultural Fit
  • Reading: Selecting Candidates
  • Reading: Case Study of New Story Charity
  • Reading: Closing the Offer
  • Exercise: Structure Your Organization’s Recruitment Flow
  • Resource: Group Discussion Guide
Optimizing Performance
  • Reading: Performance Management and Incentives
  • Reading: Case Study of Ethiochicken
  • Reading: 3 Core Components of Performance Management
  • Reading: Goal Setting and Goal Science
  • Exercise: Build a Goals Flow Chart
  • Reading: Developing a Culture of Feedback
  • Reading: The SBI Method for Giving Feedback
  • Reading: 6 Tips for Receiving Feedback
  • Reading: Performance Review and Reflection
  • Exercise: Practice Giving Feedback Using the SBI Method
  • Reading: Preparing for a Performance Review
  • Reading: How to Do a 360 Feedback Session
  • Reading: Managing Underperformers and Termination
  • Reading: Structuring Incentives and Promotions
  • Exercise: Reflection Questions
  • Supplemental Reading: 4 Lessons from Behavioral Economics to Motivate Your Employees
Talent Development
  • Case Study: Ethiochicken
  • Reading: Why Talent Development Matters
  • Reading: An Interview with Molly Alexander, Director of Talent Development
  • Reading: When and Where Talent Development Occurs
  • Exercise: Reflection on Your Experience with Talent Development
  • Reading: The 70-20-10 Concept in Practice
  • Reading: Breaking Down Online, In-Person and Blended Models
  • Reading: How to Assess Whether a Facilitator is Right for Your Organization
  • Reading: Building Effective Teams
  • Exercise: Final Assignment

Register for Human Capital Strategy 

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Course Partners

The Hitachi Foundation (Active until 2016). The Foundation’s closing strategy aims to address a critical question of our time: In this rapidly changing workforce environment, how do we make work work for the many who feel stuck and left behind? The strategy transitions all assets into three mission-aligned organizations: the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute; the Institute for Work & Employment Research at MIT’s Sloan School of Management; and Investors’ Circle.

Anne-Claire Broughton is Principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC, a firm which helps organizations engage employees at all levels for business success through open book management, employee ownership, and healthy organizational cultures. Publications include The Hitachi Foundation’s Human Capital Advantage: A Curriculum for Early Stage Ventures (upon which this +Acumen course is based). She previously spent more than 13 years advising early stage business as Co-Founder and Senior Director of SJF Institute.