The Five Critical Growth Challenges You Must Address
On Your Way to Stage Five (58 – 95 Employees and Beyond)
Moving Into Stage 5 is All About Synergy: Alignment, Integration.
A major transformation is occurring when you moved beyond 50 employees.
I remember experienced business owners telling another CEO of a growing company,
“Watch out. When you get to 50 employees, everything changes.”
Their frustration was that no one would tell them exactly what those changes would be.
The 7 Stages of Growth enterprise development model can shed some light on exactly
what those business owners were talking about and hopefully save you hours and days of frustration.
As a Stage 5 company, you have 58 – 95 employees.
The company is beginning to align itself – sales and marketing understands and is involved with product development.
Customer service is tied into every aspect of your operation.
As the CEO, you must begin to operate in a proactive, systematic approach instead of a reactive, scattered approach.
You have trained and/or hired qualified managers and help them to get their divisions operating on solid ground.
There’s a subtle difference now that you have ‘breached the 50’ – while your number one priority is
managing this dynamic organization, you have to shift ever so slightly into a more visionary role.
No longer invisible to the outside world, your competition is heating up because you are now playing in a larger fishbowl.
Your top 5 challenges in Stage Five include:
- Improving Sales
Of the three gates of growth: Profit/Revenue, Process, and People, your #1 priority is Profit/Revenue.
Because you are entering a larger competitive domain, you need to focus more of your energy on
developing new opportunities and cementing key relationships with current customers.
2. Difficulty Forecasting Problems
Larger is more difficult and in Stage 5 it’s easier for problems to simmer underneath your radar and create cracks in your armor.
Staying alert, not allowing mediocrity to set in, paying attention to the little things (never assume your vision and values are safe), will help you continually stay ahead of the tidal waves that can sink your ship.
3. Cost of Lost Expertise
Your second priority of the gates of growth is People.
It’s harder and harder for your employees to feel ‘valued’.
It’s more difficult for you, the CEO, to ‘touch’ every single person in the organization.
You need to maintain a constant vigilance to stay on top of how your managers
are aligning employee performance to company goals.
That’s the hard part.
The easy part is for your employees to disengage because they aren’t feeling ‘valued’
and decide the grass is greener someplace else.
4. Weak Profit Design
Focusing on Value Exchange, Organizational Structure, Business Development,
Operating Systems, and Knowledge Management is a good place to start in evaluating
your profit design as you move into Stage 5.
Assuming what worked before will continue to work is a mistake many leaders make
as the company grows beyond their capacity to manage all aspects of their business.
5. Staff training
Do each of your departments have their own budget with spending discretion?
Do they understand gross margins, how the company makes and keeps money?
Is there an intentional training program in place for all employees that is focused on company goals?
How much of your budget have you allocated to training?
Money invested in training your staff on Company Goals, Company Issues and Company Priorities
is far more productive at this stage of growth then sending them to expensive conferences and outside training programs.
Stage 4 . . .
was all about developing strong independent departments, Stage 5 is all about Integration.
If you took the time to develop strong operating units in Stage 4, the art of integration will be much smoother.
You lead by showing that you value people’s input and you work to get commitment through participation, not dictation.
Having spent the time and energy to build a great team, look to them for guidance and advice in their areas of expertise.
Teamwork and collaboration are crucial as you lead your team into the future.
Always Remember This!
A basic principle of effectively managing growth; what you don’t take care of in one stage of growth
doesn’t go away–it follows you to the next stage when there is more complexity and a new set of challenges.
Be Certain You Are Not Behind
Get a Free Growth Stage Strategy Session With Me to Discuss Completing the Work as You Go. Begin by Completing the Growth Strategy Survey.
Then, we will schedule a FREE debrief call.