By Kathleen Teodoro of Moraware
Fabricators rarely call us to purchase software before they’ve started making money selling countertops. They’re usually already running a successful business, but something has changed. Often, that something is success itself. They’re growing, entering a new stage in the life-cycle of an organization, and they must adjust. We help with the software adjustments, but the staffing, leadership and process adjustments are often the most daunting.
Lifecycles of an organization
I recently attended a workshop where we spent some time discussing a model of organizational growth developed by Edgar Shein. Like many other models, it focuses on the experience of the founding leader, but it can be useful for everyone in an organization to reflect on these stages of growth. Why? Because what was helpful while you were building a company can be harmful once the business matures.
Shein’s theory in a nutshell
Organizations have different leadership and staffing needs at different stages of development. Each of us is most comfortable in certain stages. Our strengths in one stage often become detrimental in another. We must evolve our skills, get help and/or revise our vision.
Take a look at the chart below and consider your own organization.
What stage do you think your organization is in?
Where are you most comfortable?
Can you think of anyone in your business who might be anxious because his role has changed?
Informing your growth
Understanding how these stages impact your team can be useful as you consider additional investments in hiring, training and technology. Before you hire someone new, make sure you know how your needs have changed. Maybe you used to hire generalists who could do a bit of everything, but now you really need a marketing specialist. Maybe you have somebody on staff who could fill that role with a bit of training.
Or maybe it’s time to invest in software that will help you Systemize your processes so you can establish and enforce standard operating procedures.