You need two things to grow
It will consist of a matrix of relationships such as who reports to who, about what. Who is accountable for what and how all of that meshes together like a complex machine. In fact a machine is a good way to think about a business. Are we designing a machine that can achieve the results that we want our business to achieve? If it isn’t designed to achieve its objectives it stands to reason it can’t ever do so. As those objectives become more ambitious so the design will need to change.
Your business will have a structure even if you don’t recognise it, but is it scalable? Often as firms grow organically the structure that they develop isn’t scalable. The classic pattern is for the founder to keep adding people to the mix. They all report to the founder, but with no overall plan and no design and so we end up with a structure that Jim Collins refers to as ‘the genius with a thousand helpers’. Now I am always keen to point out that there is nothing wrong with this structure. Nothing wrong at all, other than the fact that it will not scale beyond a certain size. It will not scale because the leader is the only person who connects all the moving parts. He is usually the only person capable of making a decision and who knows the whole picture. After a certain level our genius cannot possibly cope with all of the complexity that a growing business brings, no matter how tough he thinks he is. The workload and more importantly, the stress, will become intolerable. As a consequence the growth reaches its own self imposed rev limiter and the true business potential is never reached often causing severe mental health damage in the process.
The second necessary thing, which follows creating an appropriate structure, is a method of managing within that structure. The genius who has a thousand helpers working for him will have developed a way of managing within that structure. As the structure changes so the optimum way of organising, managing and leading within that structure also needs to change. I would argue that the type of people within that structure will probably need to change too, from ‘doing’ people to ‘thinking’ people, to coin a phrase.
Fit for purpose
Earlier I referred to a structure that was fit for purpose. The structure will always be perfectly designed for the results that it yields. If the results aren’t the results we would wish for then that is probably telling us that we have to redesign something.
If you are trying to grow your business and it isn’t happening a good place to start would be to look at the structure and the management practices. If they are currently in the red on the rev counter how can you upgrade them to achieve more growth with less effort?
Like everything this is simple but not easy. It is simple to understand but not easy to achieve. If you need help to free up the growth potential in your business and if you need to upgrade your leadership competence to achieve the management required contact me to hear how we can help you to achieve massive results in your business.