There is a natural evolution that takes place as a business grows. Small businesses evolving into mid-sized organizations require a potentially uncomfortable transition from ad-hoc to “formalized”. If a mid-sized company remains an ad-hoc culture and environment for too long, growth is generally inhibited.
The persistent reliance and retention of an ad-hoc culture is often derived from a perception that this culture allows for a company (and its customer facing personnel) to be more responsive to the customer. In the context a single conversation, this may be true. It is a natural to arrive at this faulty conclusion, because it is this ad-hoc environment that likely helped to fuel the early growth of the typical small organization.
However, as a company grows larger, and tasks are distributed across departments and personnel, the lack of standardized data flow often leads to increased errors, “fire drills”, compensations, mistakes, and lack of meaningful reporting visibility. These ultimately lead to wasted time, missed customer expectations, a less than optimal customer experience, and ultimately a negative impact short and long-term profitability.
Leading organizations are able to take a macro view of their evolving customer needs, and respond by putting the appropriate people, processes, and underlying systems in place to enable continued and scalable growth.
How have you managed your corporate growth and what are some of challenges you’ve conquered along the way?