In the business world there is the saying (which is more fact than fiction) “Grow or Die”. If a business does not have signs of significant growth then in a sense it is akin to a hobby and is being managed as such. No-growth businesses (especially the business that blames the customer for their lack of growth) are very easily crushed by competitors and hence die.

There are four main benefits to growth.

  1. It validates that you are well known in our community and not just known by your limited customer base. You are part of the community fabric. An unknown business, regardless of how good, is of no value to anyone (including itself) if it is not known well beyond it’s front doors. If the business is not news worthy often, is not publicly shared and is simply reflection of last year, the business is in big trouble.
  2. A growing business is exciting. It spurs enthusiasm both within the organization and within the community at large (i.e. It is more fun to work at and it develops a fan base).
  3. Growth validates that you are meeting the customer needs. The most successful service companies (including the education business) find ways to “Partner with the Customer” even if the customer does not realize it is happening. They provide something the customers can not easily do for themselves and they do it in such a way that it is important and noticeable. They provide VALUABLE to the customer in a most personal way. Growth validates the business is relevant to it’s community and not just to a few customers.
  4. Growth often provides capital infusion usually in two ways. One, cash inflow is typically greater than the cash out in a growing organization. Two (in the not-for-profit world) growth often encourages donors and volunteers to engage.

How do you grow a business? Well first let me answer it backwards. The road to growth never ends (there is no end). It is a constant and purposeful commitment to renewal on a scale larger than today. So how do you start? You start by proclaiming loudly and publicly in faith your commitment to making Adventist Education grow. The more people you tell (both Adventist and non-Adventist), the more you are held accountable for going it. Next you set the bar high, no not high, you set the bar way high. Much higher than your comfort zone. Then you ask for help. You need a team bigger than you, and bigger than your current staff, to make this happen.

You need to make if fun, joyful, a journey and a mission for God. Lastly, your team needs some crazy people on it. Crazy enough to make it happen.

– Tom Krazan