Eighteen years after launching the South India AIDS Action Program (SIAAP), Shyamala Natarajan reached a crossroads. Positioned as a civil society movement, the organization had succeeded in proving their model. The more difficult, adaptive work of achieving a shift in policy had been completed, and the organization began to focus more on the delivery of services on scale. For Shyamala, the creative aspect of her work was complete, and although there was still work to be done, she began to question if she still wanted to be at the helm.
From our conversations with social entrepreneurs in the Ashoka network, we have seen several social entrepreneurs at this very juncture. With changing personal and professional circumstances, they begin to consider what it takes for their ideas to outlive themselves. This might happen early in the entrepreneurial journey, or a little later in their course. We spoke to several Ashoka Fellows who have had some success with this, and here we share common insights that may be of use for anyone looking to leave their organization with strength and stability.