Five more growing pains a company can avoid

In my last blog I outlined five growing pains a company can avoid; in this blog I cover five more people issues that occur when a company grows in size.

businessman thinking about the growing pains of a companyWhen companies or departments grow in size, in terms of the number of people involved, it inevitably means changes to the way people behave and identify with the organisation.  Some people thrive on the change, whilst others find the transition really difficult.

By recognising the issues that may happen when expanding the size of an organisation, a company can manage the transition in a more effective way; and bring the people along on the journey.  But what are the issues that can go wrong?  What do you need to look for?  Actually it’s not so much things going wrong, rather things happening to and around people without them planning or expecting it.

Loss of day to day control by the founding directors

In start-ups and small companies the directors can be involved in all projects and jobs the company undertakes.  As the company grows there comes a point where this is no longer possible and the founding directors have to trust others to deliver without being personally involved.  If the trust is not established the directors will continue to meddle, but not have the time to be properly involved.  It takes time to build the trust required, so directors need to identify who they will need to empower  and develop these relationships well before they get to the point of needing to hand over control.

Letting go of the baby

Closely following on from the issue of loss of control, once the owner has managed to hand over day-to-day control to those below in the organisation, the owner can suffer from a sense of loss.  Having created the company it’s now beginning to function without them and this can take some adjustment by the owner to shift to working on more strategic activities.

Taking responsibility for failure

As a company gets larger there is more of an opportunity for people to blame others within the organisation and not take responsibility for failures.  In these situations it is important to get away from looking who to blame and instead accepting whatever has occurred, using it as a learning experience and focussing on what actions are required to move the situation forward.  Here the behaviour of the owner and how he or she handles failure is key, as that will set the tone in the rest of the organisation.

Introduction of politics

Politics can lead to a change in culture within the business and potentially a loss of influence of the leaders.  It can materialise in a number of ways, such as departments developing into silos (which might occur following acquisitions or if there are multiple locations) generating us-and-them type thinking, through to the introduction of unions changing the dynamic of control within the business.

Seniority Complex

As a company expands the senior management can become pretentious and get blinded by their position and importance.  Senior management may become a clique.  This is particularly the case if the senior management are part of a group organisation which is at a separate location to the operating parts of the company.  Senior management should be encouraged to have regular contact and involvement with the challenges faced by the wider organisation.

Do you recognise any of the five issues outlines above?  Are they happening in your company?  If so, don’t panic; suitable interventions can help resolve the situation and avoid them turning into a crisis.  The important thing is to take action now before it’s too late.

Mike Jones specialises in developing Emotional Intelligence.  If you would like help to avoid the growing pains as your business expands call him now on +44 (0)1908 509088 or email mike@potentialmatters.co.uk.

About Mike Jones

Mike Jones is an executive coach specialising in developing Emotional Intelligence through transitional and performance coaching. You can contact him directly on +44(0)7747 011 589 or via mike@potentialmatters.co.uk

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