Tag Archives: organizational growth

Company Growth, Personal Growth

“I know I need to delegate more,” Hannah shook her head side to side. “But, I am often disappointed when I give someone a task and they don’t complete it to my standards. It’s just easier to do it myself.”

“Okay, I will agree that you can complete the work better than anyone else on your team,” I replied. “As the manager, if you have to complete all the work, how much work can you do in an 8-hour day?”

“I know where you are going with this,” she said. “If I do all the work, our output capacity is limited to how much I can personally get done. Not to mention, everyone else will be standing around all day.”

“There is more to it than a capacity issue, output for a day,” I nodded. “It’s output capacity, forever. If all you produce is what you can personally produce in a day, the company will never grow. More importantly, you will never grow.”

Necessary, But Not Sufficient

WHY I wrote Outbound Air

This subtle shift in the Prime stage is a precursor to the next level of organizational challenge. Everything we have examined over the past few days looks inside, the internal ticking. This subtle shift is a sea change of focus from internal to external. The organization has to maintain all the internal systems (functions) optimized and integrated, but that is no longer enough.

Sitting outside the organization is an external system that will now determine its fate. Sitting outside the organization is the market. Internally, the success of the company has built up a whole lot of overhead. This is no simple enterprise. Headcount blew past 100, perhaps 500 on its way to 1000. Simply sustaining the machine becomes its organizational challenge. But the internal efficiency and optimization is no longer sufficient.

If this organization is to survive, the strategic focus shifts to creating a clear and compelling vision that is relevant to the marketplace.

_______________Stable – challenge is sustaining the machine, relevance to the market
____________Prime – multiple systems/sub-systems integration
_________Adolescence – internal focus on system creation
______Go-Go – define and document methods and processes
___Infancy – focus on sales, production, find a (any) customer

The good news is, once the organization has nailed this down, it can relax, because markets never change. Just kidding. This begins a never-ending quest to remain relevant to a constantly changing market. Market responsive.

A detailed version of this model (SI-SVII) is contained in the appendix of Outbound Air. This model is adapted from a comparative study of two models, Corporate Lifecycles, Ichak Adizes and Requisite Organization, Dr. Elliott Jaques.