IN GROW OR DIE, George Ainsworth-Land described the predictable and inevitable growth curve with three phases which applies to any organization or company and even to relationships. But we’ll stick to the workplace.
Which Phase Are You In and Are You On the Right Track?
Phase 1: Invention or Getting Off the Ground
The company is highly entrepreneurial. It’s born out of a desire to meet a need – whether it’s a nonprofit to deal with a social or community issue or a start up to bring a new product or idea or process to market. The climate is high energy, fast paced, seat-of-the-pants and at times chaotic. But it’s exciting!
Can you make it through this phase and not burn-out or fail-out?
Phase 2: Improvement or Rapid Expansion
You begin to see results from all the hard work – more customers, funders, publicity – but are you making a profit or making a dent in the problems you’re trying to solve? This is when you’re adding staff or opening new stores or increasing your inventory, etc. It can be a real culture shock to move from stage one to two. You know you want it and you need it. But it’s hard to deal with!
Can you move from the visionary leader to an effective manager?
Phase 3: Reinvention or Stagnation
To keep growing, you must look at new markets, grow your current niche, expand product lines or add new services. You may be considering acquisitions, mergers or going public. Similar to Phase 1, the leader must create the vision, energy, culture and direction again. However this is a much different, more complex organization. Your leadership role has changed again!
Are you able to let go of operations and become an innovator again?
Smart Moves Tip
Growth requires that entrepreneurs and business leaders change what they do. Successful and sustainable growth requires the right kind of leadership, the right environment (culture) and the right processes. Do you have them?