When we are working for a small organization we yearn for it to grow. When we’re bigger we will have more money. When we are bigger we will have more resources. When we are bigger we will have more hands on deck to help out.
We have been conditioned by society, our culture and by other businesses to assume that bigger is better. By getting bigger we will be happier, more fulfilled, or maybe we even think things will get easier. But think about it, is bigger really better? Who does bigger benefit? You, your members, your staff? Maybe or maybe no one.
Many times getting bigger forces us to layer on complexity. When we get bigger we have the capacity to add more staff. So we add more staff and because we have more staff we have to add more systems. Because we have to add more staff and more systems we have to add processes. Because we have added more staff, systems and processes we need more staff to manage the staff, systems and processes. More complexity and more bureaucracy that likely will not add a whole heck of a lot of value.
For some organizations bigger is better. There is tremendous value that can be created with economies of scale. Principally this works well in manufacturing. I wonder though, if bigger is better for more intellectual organizations like associations where the real value comes from the sharing of ideas. Perhaps for us bigger is not better, better is better.