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The Threat of Growth
Are we getting better . . . or just bigger?
How can growth be a threat to good strategy? Isn’t growth evidence that a strategy is working?
We tend to believe growth is always good – the faster the better. There must be something wrong with organizations that aren’t growing.
This is as true in the nonprofit sector as it is for commerical businesses. Charity rating services downgrade nonprofits that don’t show consistent growth. It’s not unusual for donors to express doubts about nonprofits that don’t regularly add “something new.”
But growth is not the same as value. Privileging growth substitutes a question that’s easy to answer – whether your income is bigger this year – for one that’s harder to answer – whether your organization is better.
Growth as a measure of progress doesn’t tell you what it cost to achieve that growth. If growth costs more than it returns to the organization, you’ve lost money or damaged yourself in some other way.
Yet even if your growth is profitable, in the sense that you finish with more than you started with, it may still not have been worth it.
In these 5-minute episodes of The Successful Strategist, I discuss why the significance of “growth” is often less obvious than we like to think. Follow the links below to the individual episodes, and subscribe on any major podcast app.
David Packard on growth
More businesses die of indigestion than starvation.
How to Reduce Your Risk
Across industries and sectors, and over a long period of time, less than 15 percent of organizations achieve what they hoped their strategic plans would allow them to do. Half of organziations actually damage themselves trying to implement their plans.
How can this possibly happen?
Those who are invested in a strategic plan are not in a good position to evaluate it. Confirmation bias and a reluctance to question sunk costs leave a large majority of executives unaware of flaws or unwilling to express doubts.
My Strategy Audit provides a prompt, independent, practical, and affordable evaluation of your strategic plan.
A Strategy Audit will allow your organization – for-profit or non-profit – to candidly discuss and rapidly improve your strategic plan, vastly reducing your risk of wasted resources, internal conflict, damage to relationships with investors or donors, and unsustainable service to customers or beneficiaries.
Email me at email@example.com, or click here, for more information.