Organizational Growing Pains

In working with a number of rapidly growing companies,
organizations, and school systems over the years, it has been
interesting to see several common risk factors for their ongoing
success. Many have survived these challenges, others have not. These
challenges are broad and deep and could easily be a focus for longer

  • They have a since of invincibility. In other words, cockiness
    and a false sense of business acumen and/or market viability due to
    immediate or quick success. This success and feeling of invincibility
    had been typically measured by individual financial wealth accumulation
    and fame – not long-term positioning for organizational success.
  • They have not moved their talent to address current and future
    needs of the company. This does not mean firing the loyal employees who
    have gotten them to where they are today. Rather, it means helping them
    to grow, re-tool, and expand to meet current and future demands.
  • They are blurry or not in total alignment relative to their
    long-term strategic direction. And their people and organizational
    strategy is equally foggy – as they don’t know what they need going
    forward. Thinking and planning for the long-term is key. Also, many
    have a planning horizon which is simply too short. Things sneak up on
    them, and ‘images are closer than they appear,’ such as competition,
    market swings, and customer buying habits. Let’s face it – the world is
    moving FAST – and we have to plan, respond, and drive toward this.
  • They are not as diligent as they need to be – on all fronts. Buying
    new companies, merging with companies, launching new products and
    services, establishing close partnerships and alignments must be
    anchored in due diligence. The operative word is diligence.
  • They are not structured for scale. Their operational and technical
    infrastructure is not prepared to support an increased span and scope
    of work. Without building a strong foundation, they will have demand
    and customer need without an ability to deliver with the same level of
    quality their clients have grown to expect. 

Take a look at these, and ask yourself – does my company, team,
organization, or school have any of these tendencies? If so, they
are certainly worth exploring and getting you and your team aligned on
how to ‘fix’ them.