As we put the finishing touches on our latest white paper, Scaling, we found ourselves thinking about the following scenario.
If you’re flying solo, working in a one-person shop where you, and only you, do absolutely everything – you make the morning coffee, you deal with all the clients, you produce all the products, you pay all the bills – then go ahead and ignore this blog. You don’t need to know about how to scale your business efficiently and effectively to produce the greatest results.
(Unless you think that some day your business may grow. In that case, we encourage you to read on.)
For the rest of us who work in an organization that involves additional people interacting to get the job done, this blog is for you. It’s especially for you if your Organization is growing, expanding its reach and its complexity with more people and more products.
Figuring out how to handle your Organization’s growth so that you and your Team can do good work means scaling. And, scaling is hard. Very hard.
To help you through your scaling journey, we’ve identified 3 pitfalls to avoid so that your Organization can scale with success.
1. Don’t Ignore Growing Pains
Remember when you were a kid and your legs would hurt? You’d complain to your mother, and she would say, “It’s just growing pains. Ignore it.” The same should not be said about an Organization. It’s important to recognize that most large Organizations scale in response to forces and conditions that existed at the time of growth. That makes sense. However, what may not make sense is that those forces and conditions may no longer exist, while the scaling still does. And that can lead to some Organizational growing pains which shouldn’t be ignored. Taking the time to identify the reasons behind the current scaling and assessing if they still apply is time well spent.
2. Never Let Fear Be Your Guide
With growth, comes change. And change makes people feel vulnerable. Some who feel most threatened by the changes scaling brings may retreat to their comfort zone of engaging in old, “This is how we do things around here” behaviors that don’t reflect the new reality. That’s the definition of an impediment. The larger your Organization becomes, or the more distributed your Team is, the more critical is it to adopt an Agile frame of mind; where every experience is a learning experience, where the Team actively seeks out feedback, where curiosity is relished, and failures are a means to improvement.
3. Don’t Dismiss Leadership Buy-In
Scaling efforts may begin at the Team level on the ground floor, but for scaling to really spread to the rest of the Organization, it needs to be supported and communicated all the way up and down the hierarchy. Buy-in needs to include every level, most influentially it must receive blessings from executive leadership. In large Organizations, when Executive Business Owners and Stakeholders reinforce the Team efforts, the rest of the Organization, including senior and mid-level management, will more easily follow suit with less skepticism and stalling.
But Wait, There’s More
Looking for more in-depth knowledge and real-world tools to scale successfully? We’ve got just what you’re looking for. Our latest white paper, Scaling is coming soon.