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How to Grow in a Tight Economy


‘How do you grow in a tight economy?  The Boston Consulting Group has spent time researching this question.

These answers apply as much to nonprofit organizations as to for profit companies.

There are eight ways.

1. Act early to grow.

We have seen organizations continue to wait for COVID ‘to be over’.

This is clearly not working as a strategy for growth.

It is possible to fill this page with links to articles about why it is ‘not true’, that COVID and its effects are ending soon.

But that is no longer the point or the real challenge.

The real challenge is the state of our minds that prefers inertia and waiting, to taking action and responding to the environment and economy as it is today.  ‘Waiting’, we become our own worst enemy.

It is too late perhaps to act ‘early’, or maybe its not too late.  If you cannot see your growth opportunities, let’s talk and see how we can move you towards real  growth in revenue and community impact.

2. Think big picture (don’t get lost in busyness).

‘Lost in the busyness’ is an epidemic here in the US. To cut this momentum, create some space for yourself, away from the next email or putting out the next fire.

Consider these questions:

What are your bigger goals?

Can you break down what are the 1 to 3 top goals for the quarter that will move you in this direction?  Be specific.

Then consider what has to happen in the next two weeks to meet the quarter’s goals?

You have what we call a ‘two week sprint’.

Work for two weeks on these goals and then evaluate what you have learned, what works well, what did not.  Make adjustments.

Other things will get in the way, but committing what is most essential things makes a difference.

Track it.  Are you accomplishing what needs to happen over time?

Regular check-ins on “the sprint” make a HUGE difference in getting you and your team focused on what is most important and getting real results.

Here at HIGOL we build systems for organizations to do this. Contact us if you want to get started.

3. Build resilience. Be able to shift quickly.

This is very related to #1 above.

Let it go.  No more striving for perfection or longing for the past.  Stop wasting time.  There is no more control.

Take imperfect action.

What is one action you know is a critical for you, and you are hesitating to do it?

Step into opportunity.  I promise, it will meet you half-way.

To overcome making decisions from a place of strong emotions and spending all day reacting to the next crisis in your inbox, check out Leading In Times of Coronavirus.

4. Focus on growth.

What are you actually focusing on moment to moment?

I had a coaching call with a CEO this morning who told her team that meetings will no longer be complaint sessions and that they will begin to focus on the future and implementing the very real strategic opportunities they have.


5. Fix what’s broken. (COVID shows us the cracks!)

Yes, do this.  It is required for growth.

This is very different than complaining about what’s broken, hiding what’s broken, ignoring what’s broken.  Identify what needs attention.

If you don’t know how to fix it, ask for help.

6. Invest in growth.

Investing your resources, especially financial resources, during a global pandemic and economic downturn can be downright scary.

It is, though, the time to invest in the right things.

Those who invest wisely now will be here to see the future.  Those who don’t, will not.

Identify what you need to grow, to pivot, to meet your constiuents real needs, so your organization is not left behind.

Then, make the investment required to do it, no matter what.

If you don’t have the funds in the bank, you can raise them much easier if you are clear on what you want to accomplish and the resources you need to get there.

7. Focus on competitiveness.

The nonprofit world is competitive, just as the for-profit world is.

Make your organization leading edge.

Don’t follow others, but respond directly to the opportunity in front of you.  If you are future-facing and taking action, you will have few real competitors.

If you are not sure how to get started, or you and your team are getting tripped up in executing  let’s talk.

We want to see nonprofit organizations be so much more successful.  Little drops of strategic execution can make a huge difference.

One of our recent clients raised $79,000 to replace an HVAC unit in a building they were using for critical food distribution, after one coaching call.

It’s not a magic bullet, but using the resources you already have just a bit more intentionally and strategically.

8. Contribute to the world.

How can you maximize this?

If you are a nonprofit, yes, you are built for this, but too many organizations are not working at scale.

Can you create the movement that changes systems and changes many lives for the better? Now is the time.  We need your brilliance to solve these incredible challenges we face.  Step into growth!

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