The Key To Understanding Business Growth
Organizational ReWilding, a unique business growth methodology, is grounded in over 30 years of ongoing research. It is the only methodology of its kind — where it’s been developed directly from the collective experiences (successes and failures) of thousands of business owners. This research has uncovered the foundational truth that an organization’s complexity is driven by the number of people in the organization. This is different than the traditional way of categorizing businesses by revenue generated.
While revenue does have some correlation with the complexity of an organization, our research shows that complexity has the highest correlation with the number of employees. If you’re a business leader, I’m sure you will agree that the more people you add, the more complex your business becomes.
The graphic below shows the findings from our research. What we found is that there are certain ranges of employees during which the complexity is stable enough to have a fixed “set of rules”, and that’s the key to understanding business growth.
The research identified seven stages that occur between 1 and 350 employees. Each stage has a name that identifies the theme of the stage.
In Stage 1, a business is in a Start-up stage, where things are small and agile. Making sure there is enough profitable revenue is the name of the game, and secondarily to that, finding the right people for the tight-knit group is a big priority.
Stage 2, is Ramp-up, this is where things need to begin to get a bit more structured, processes become more important in this Stage, but still, we’re focused on having enough profitable revenue to keep the business’s lights on. This Stage is the last of the owner-centric stages.
In Stage 3, Delegation is the name of the game — this is the first enterprise centric Stage, and it represents the hardest transition for the owner. As their relationship with their business dramatically shifts from Stages 2 and 3. Investing in the beginnings of an early-stage management team is critical here and sets the business up for future growth.
Stage 4, the Professional Stage, is where the company’s management team needs to be professionalized. The company will need to develop its existing managers so they can perform at elevated levels or bring in professional managers. These managers are tasked with building strong departments that have effective processes and systems. Stage 4 is the only stage where Process is the highest priority, and so an organization needs to invest in scalable processes and systems in order to scale to future stages.
Stage 5 is all about Integration. The focused work the professionalized managers did in their respective departments in Stage 4 can often create silos. Stage 5 is where you bring those units back together into an integrated management team. The management team begins to take on more responsibilities, still with oversight and guidance by the CEO. But this training ground is where the CEO will begin to identify and groom individuals for a Leadership Team that will be needed in Stages 6 and 7.
Stage 6 is the Strategic stage and represents a major shift for a CEO. The prior three Stages were operationally focused, but Stage 6 is where the CEO begins to hand off the reins of the business to the Leadership Team and spend more energy on the company’s strategy and future. Operationally minded CEOs can sometime struggle with this transition. Maintaining company culture is huge in this stage, so a big focus is on people in Stage 6.
Stage 7 is the Visionary stage. The Leader always has some time spent wearing the Visionary Face, but this is at the highest level across the seven stages. Stage 7 is characterized by the need to recapture the innovation the company had in earlier stages to avoid becoming stagnant, stuck, or irrelevant in the marketplace. The leadership team that has been groomed and grown over the last stages now runs the daily operations and is contributing significantly to the strategic vision of the company.
Just as there are important elements that make up a healthy ecosystem, our research has also identified 11 Key Elements that are needed for a business to be exceptional. The priority of when these elements are most needed is determined by a company’s Stages of Growth.
Infusing these elements into a business’ ecosystem is the essence of ReWilding a business. We have assessments that identify which elements are missing or under-developed. Using this insight, a plan can be created to infuse the needed elements into the organization.
Each new element addresses the root cause that is creating the surface symptoms that grab your attention; the new element sets off a ripple effect of positive change and growth.
The result is an exceptional organization that is more resilient and capable of navigating growth.
As a business leader, when you understand The Stages of Growth and the Key Elements, you’ll be in a better position to:
🔹 Communicate clearly with your team about the rules of your organization’s current stage.
🔹 Diagnose and identify solutions to the issues your organization faces.
🔹 Enable your organization to become “unstuck” or to successfully handle “rapid growth”.
🔹 Understand your impact as a leader on your company’s performance.
🔹 Direct the forces that drive your company’s profitability.
So if you’re a business leader who finds this of interest, feel free to get in touch with me to discuss further and learn how Organizational ReWilding can help you and your business overcome the growth challenges you are facing right now.