It is the dream of every group to grow. That is why it is started in the first place. However, the irony of the matter is when a group metamorphoses from the small, easily manageable circle that it was in the beginning into a large conglomerate that commands both money and membership, problems of adaptability may arise. This is due to the completely different set of economic and social principles that the group now requires. If not well handled, they could cause frustration on the part of leaders and members too.
A group’s growth is not a bad thing. It only means that the policies being applied to run the group are effective. Contrary to a group that stagnates on the same membership for years. Well, it may be the members’ decisions to keep it that way, but such a group may not taste the benefits that growing membership brings, such as:
Increased bargaining power.
Though dependent on other factors, a group with larger membership will have a greater bargaining chip.
When it comes to issues of economic interest such as loans. A large group is seen as largely self-sufficient and stable. Even when such a group does not have a large amount of savings, it will be more likely to be trusted by financial institutions.
This is majorly because such a group will be able to make use of economies of scale unlike a small group.
Easier growth of savings/money.
A large group is more likely to accumulate savings faster irregardless of the amounts contributed per member, even compared to a small one whose members make relatively large contributions. It also provides the advantage that each member can contribute relative to his/her financial ability without affecting overall group performance
Greater diversity of Ideas/talents
It is obvious that where a greater number of people are working together then a larger pool of ideas and complimentary abilities is available. These could serve the group in many ways that contribute to its eventual growth.
How can a group effectively cope with growing membership?
Original laws and policies should not be static
It’s important to have in mind the possibility of future expansion of the group when laying down the founding policies and bylaws. This will ensure a smoother transition when such an expansion doe occurs there will be no many changes to be made to policy and laws. This is because the policy that works for a small group could not be effective for a larger version of the same group.
That means a lot of thought and consideration has to go into laying the foundations of the group in its initial stages. The founders must have the end in mind as this will save the group members a lot of inconvenience in the future.
Learn to embrace change
The quality of adaptability is one of mam’s most valuable traits. Any person or group of people that resist change will no doubt lag behind. And like any other entity, an investment group will change in its life time, and one of such is the growth in membership.
If members have determined to welcome in new comers, then they must be ready and willing to handle the variations that such a change might bring. It might not be comfortable at first but in the long run it will prove to be of importance to the group. However, it must be considered to carefully vet new members to ensure that they meet the criteria of joining the group.
Adjust vision if necessary
This is in the same spirit of adjusting to change. Although the group’s vision is supposed to be fixed from the very start, it might need to shift as the group grows and discovers new possibilities it can venture into.
A group must continually rebrand itself to stay relevant. The vision will need to be continually fine-tuned to fit the group’s priorities.
Emphasize on teamwork and cohesion.
After all has been said and done, a group’s progress will rest upon the values of teamwork, common understanding and cohesiveness that is present among its members. These values must be cultivated and nurtured so that they become a part of group culture, so that new members will easily transition into it.
Members should not be afraid to embrace group growth, for by trying to ‘protect’ their small, compact chama they might miss on awesome opportunities brought by expansion. However, caution must be taken so that such a growth is well managed so that it does not disintegrate the group instead.
Tags: chama growth
Categorised in: chama management
This post was written by Victor Makau
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