Measuring Vitality and Viability

Measuring The Vitality and Viability of Your Organization

As human beings, it is easy to tell when we aren’t feeling well. We may get a stuffy nose, sore throat, chills or nausea. The signs are usually clear and quite unpleasant. However, when it comes to the health of your business, the warnings aren’t always as transparent. 

So, how do you know when your organization’s health is in jeopardy?

The vitality of an organization focuses on its capacity to grow sustainably. Is it viable enough to explore new strategies, survive long term, and be profitable and stable? We believe that there are 5 main components that must be considered when evaluating the vitality and viability of your camp or retreat center. 

  • Vision

You must have a clear “why” in order to make an impact. How is your organization making a difference? What are its goals for the future? Is the vision unique and specific enough to have its own thumbprint in the industry?

Without knowing where you are going and why you are traveling in that direction, you will not move forward. Organizations that don’t breathe life into their purpose and programming are often stuck cycling through historical patterns. Making it difficult to grow and evolve. Staying active and strong in your mission means the continuance of life for your business. 

  • Market Availability 

It is important to know who you are serving and what other competition is in the market. Is there a community need for your services? How do you stand out from businesses with similar offerings? 

Knowing your competitive advantages and who your audience is will help you create a framework for your outreach and programming. It will also provide insight into growth potential.

  • Staff Leadership   

Without leadership staff, your organization would not be able to operate. However, there is a difference between operating, and operating well. Although staff members most often wear many different hats, there should still be enough support for specialized areas of your business. 

This means having a director to hold and enable the vision, program leadership to focus on offering excellence, finance gurus to measure day to day health and fund development, and other imperative positions to keep the businesses running smoothly. While each organization will have its own structure, staffing needs must be met in order to stay viable. One or two people cannot fulfill all of these roles effectively and enable growth.

  • Facilities 

The facilities you keep are imperative to your programming. Keeping your campers in an environment that meets their basic needs, including safety and cleanliness, is critical. You also need to evaluate whether or not you have any capacity to grow or if your space is limited. Without the proper facilities, your organization will find it difficult to flourish.  

  • Finances 

The last component to consider, without any particular order, is the financial aspect of your organization. This tends to be the most obvious health indicator. Businesses find it easy to measure success and viability by revenue, but there is more to finances than that. 

Camps want to make sure they have the annual funds necessary to maintain operations, stay current with major maintenance projects (or catch up on deferred maintenance) along with the capacity for capital improvements and exploring new, innovative ideas. 

We use these five system components to look at the capacity of several organizations that we work with. They can provide a framework for generative conversations, along with evidence to support decision making. At times, these conversations can be difficult to have depending on the vitality of the business. 

If you need more support with evaluating your organizational health, contact us for a consultation. We would be happy to go more in depth about these five components and the information they provide to your organization.

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