Can the CCAT Assess the Health of Social Enterprises?

Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Entrepreneurship, Non-Profit

I wrote last week about the Core Capacity Assessment Tool, developed by the TCC Group. I’m going to be going through certification training on September 5, and I’ll update you on how that goes. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the tool and its possible applications to social enterprises.

I’ve already been in communication with the TCC folks, and they are anxious to see if some revisions need to be made to accommodate the unique characteristics of social enterprises.

I have started looking at some of the categories and sub-categories, and many of them look right on target for social enterprises.

On the other hand, there are some subtle wordings of the categories that suggest that some revision might help to make the CCAT more useful to social enterprises.

For instance, one of the sub-capacities assessed in the CCAT is “Environmental Learning.” This is a great category to assess and I wish more businesses would asses their ability to take in information from the environment and really learn from it. Peter Senge, in his famous book, The Fifth Discipline, claimed that some business organizations were “learning disabled,” one reason being that they had not found the means to bring in vital information from the outside of the organization into the decision-making centers of the organization, so the organization could really learn.

The wording of the category for the CCAT is:

Environmental Learning: Using collaboration and networking with community leaders and funders to learn about what’s going on in the community, and stay current with what is going on in the field .

The use of the terms “community leaders” and “funders” is very appropriate for nonprofits. But, I wonder how appropriate that terminology is for social enterprises. Perhaps additional sources for environmental information need to be added. Social entrepreneurs will use the market place, competitors, market research, and other, more business-oriented sources to get important information about the environment.

This is the kind of work I’m looking forward to….enhancing this tool, so it can be just as useful and powerful for social enterprises, as it has been for nonprofits.

Paul Hardt is a trainer, teacher, and consultant. He specializes in helping social enterprises develop and thrive. 

He can be contacted at

He is on Twitter at @paulhardt

His website is

Leave a Comment