Are you determined to grow as an organisation and do you have a plan to do it?
How do you determine which service areas your organisation should invest in and what your growth targets are? Importantly - How do you balance growth in impact and growth in revenue?
Mission-led organisations need to focus on delivering both revenue (financial sustainability) and social impact (outcomes that matter to clients of our services). But in an environment of finite resources (and potentially diminishing resources) the question is how to assess where these limited resources should go to achieve growth goals and targets.
One way we have helped clients think about their growth is to review each of their programs across two dimensions using our Strategic Growth Matrix©. The purpose of the Strategic Growth Matrix is to force critical thinking about each of the services and programs the organisation offers and prioritise resources in a way that best achieves the mission of social impact. Sometimes organisations with lots of revenue and staff can feel their goal is simply to grow as an organisation - more money, more staff. But the Strategic Growth Matrix helps make the social impact goals of the organisation more explicitly reflected in strategy, not just the financial sustainability goals.
To do this we consider:
Each service is plotted against the two dimensions within a two x two matrix (example below). The placement of each service on the matrix means you can, at a glance, review each of your services and the extent to which they are in growth markets and your ability to deliver impact.
The key to these types of processes, however, is always in the ‘So What?’.
Your next step is then to decide on how to manage each of these services. Your options will be the following:
At times of reducing program funding, it becomes imperative that you review where your resources are being invested and make good, sound strategic growth decisions.
To work well, the Strategic Growth Matrix requires an ability to accurately measure the outcomes and impact of all your organisation's programs, and to even be able to compare them with each other. For many organisations, this means new thinking is needed on how best to manage and report outcomes, above and beyond the KPIs that the funder is requiring. Our experience suggests social organisations need to prioritise going on a 'data journey' that builds confidence and systems and helps empower frontline staff and managers to use that data.