A company is either growing or dying. A company must grow in terms of profits, products/services, or people. People growth adds complexities. According to Navigating the Growth Curve, a book by James Fisher, entrepreneurial companies navigate seven stages of growth as they add one employee and keep adding employees up to 500.
However, the CEO who anticipates and prepares for the next stage allows the CEO and his or her executive team to:
- Predict how growth will impact the company
- Focus on the right things at the right time
- Help the leaders adapt to the changes needed as the company grows.
While each stage of growth has its own challenges, carry over challenges ignored from previous growth stages will need addressing. This helps ensure that the organization will be ready to move on to the next stage without excess baggage bogging down the growth process. In short, dealing with past, present and future challenges of the business aid in understanding hidden agents that might affect the growth of the company. This helps the executive team to address the right things at the right time and takes the guesswork out of where to spend precious resources.
Successful companies focus on only five critical areas at specific stages of growth. This allows the company in preparing for the next stage. Companies that focus on challenges as they appear, typically find it difficult to sustain profitability year after year. Taking stock of challenges every six months during stages of growth is a key factor in companies staying alert to the changing environment around them. Don’t let your company’s excess baggage weigh down your growth to the next stage.