Growing typically involves adding resources at around the same rate as adding impact or revenue. The implications are primarily operational. If you’ve already increased reach to more people, more cities or even more countries, but your operating costs have gone up in a generally correlated way, then what you’ve really done is grown rather than scaled.
Scaling differs in that it involves adding impact at an exponential rate while adding resources at only an incremental rate. Although scaling is also commonly approached from an operational perspective, it typically has significant implications for design, not only in terms of the solution being scaled, but also for the way it is delivered.
In a sector where resources are scarce and very large numbers of people are affected by social issues, it is rarely practical to increase resources at the same rate as reach of impact. Hence, this is why the sector focuses on scaling rather than growth, and why this framework does the same.
Scaling is a critical shift in your ability to make a difference, and one that has significant implications for your organisation.
However, there are five key reasons why organisations struggle to address the real scale of need around the world:
Lack of outcome oriented purpose with poor problem definition, which leads to failures in design and decision making;
Inapplicable/Non-scalable impact methodology (solution), which limits the flexibility needed to address the varying needs of new environments and demographics;
Non-systematic approaches to set-up and implementation, which limits replicability and decreases both efficiency and effectiveness;
Inflexible organisational design and lack of operational readiness, which limits ability to deliver at scale;
Poor implementation planning, and hence inadequate cost modelling, leading to challenges with raising funds or finance.
The goal of the PATRI framework is to help you scale your impact more effectively while avoiding these pitfalls.