Oct 27, 2016

Answering the Age-Old Question: Why Grow?

It is an age-old question:  what’s the primary reason for growth?  I am baffled by non-profit organizations that believe growth is the answer to all of their woes.  But, more perplexing to me are the organizations that believe greater revenue is the primary objective of growth.  From their perspective, growth means revenue and more revenue means an absence of financial challenge. 

My experience tells me that great organizations focus on growing not to earn more revenue but because they believe deeply that their mission benefits others.  Keep in mind that we work with non-profits which are, by their nature, designed to transform society.  Remember, we have three broad industry sectors with three distinct missions in America.  

  1. The corporate sector has a mission to make money.  
  2. The government sector has a mission to create and manage policy.  
  3. And, the nonprofit sector has a mission to transform society.  We do that through education in our division of this sector.  

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that making money is a bad idea.  Not at all.  Actually, I believe it is an outcome of having a relevant mission.  But, having a mission that is contributing to something larger than your organization is where the real growth exists. 

I believe that those organizations that believe so deeply in their mission also truly believe the world would be better if more people bought their product or service.  Far too many organizations create strategic plans for growth to strengthen themselves. We need to use our plans to strengthen our world.  It is more inspiring when you are working toward not just a better organization, but a better world.  When you think of growth in terms of external impact, it places your work in a far more inspired perspective.  

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