Monday, September 10, 2007

Growth and Mission

I feel bad. Another long break between posts. I had 2 travel stints, neither of which were work related, that kept me from blogging. I am catching up on reading some other blogs and saw the great discussion on Acronym about growth. It was so good, there was a follow up post. I just commented, but wanted to say a few more things.

I get kind of annoyed at all the mission and vision talk that goes on. It is probably from my MBA class days where it was always tossed around like a catch all answer to every question. The two terms just lost meaning for me. I like to add the two and form one other phrase = Why are you here? If you can't answer that as an association, or an individual staffer, then there will be issues. Forget jargon. Boil it down to one simple thing. Then do what needs to be done to get there.

For us, growth just means more money to play with so that we may add, subtract, or tweak program and services so that members get more out of the association. And I think growth happens as a result of our adding, subtracting, or tweaking of programs and services. I know I am really oversimplifying things, but at the same time I think they are simple.

Long story short, growth is a nice-to-have so you have more money to do new things. It shouldn't be a strategy. It should be a result of your doing the answer to the question, why are you here.


Tony Rossell said...

Matt -- I agree, growth is good. But you might also argue that growth is essential. If you are not growing you are dyeing.

There is a quote from the late Peter Drucker that I like.

“One strategy is practically infallible: Refocus and change the organization when you are successful. . . If you don’t improve it, you go downhill pretty fast.”

Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization, page 66

Matt Baehr said...

Maybe my biggest problem is the moving definition of growth. I am talking growth as a strategy meaning getting more members/attendees/staff/revenue.

I do believe change and refocusing are necessary, but you can do that with the same number of staff/members/revenue.