Growth for What Sake?


Growth. There’s lots of talk about it.

“We’re the fastest growing fill-in-the-blank in the Tri-County Area!”

But growth for growth’s sake isn’t a strategy. It’s just a tactic, the tactic of getting bigger.

Growing your business doesn’t always make it more profitable. If it did, General Motors would never have gone into bankruptcy.

So what is your strategy?

For example, if part of your strategy is weaning your group from dependence on a single facility, something that I always recommend, then the tactic of expanding to one or several other sites makes sense. But growth to a facility that results in an endless stream of patients whose care is subsidized by your other locations’ profit is probably not the right move.

Or, in some instances, your strategy might be expanding to a size that makes your group attractive as a partner when compared with other groups. That’s excellent if it’s a part of a larger strategy.

In business, especially large business, there are sometimes perverse incentives for growth. Like the CEO’s bonus. But unless your business horizon is the next quarter, it’s best to take a long term view of where your business should be.

And that means that it all boils down to strategy. Where is it that your business is now? Where do you want to take it — what is your ideal future?

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