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Re-evaluating leadership as your company grows

Re-evaluating leadership as your company grows

Business Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

16 Dec 2020, 11:37 — 6 min read

Growth demands change. Right from inception, as a company grows, its requirements and priorities keep evolving. As an entrepreneur, it is important to constantly re-evaluate what your company needs based on its size.

 

Here are seven things to keep in mind as your business scales.

 

1. Learn from mentors

As your business grows to be larger, an increase in customers and revenue is not enough to keep it thriving. Its leaders need to evolve their mindsets and management styles too. A startup team works in a more casual manner, with individual employees taking on multiple roles and responsibilities. Accountability is extremely high and easy to track with a small group. There is a laser focus on each team member’s performance. Once a company becomes larger, it is difficult for a business leader to retain this without putting in more structured processes and KPIs. The best way to learn and understand what changes are required and how to implement and manage them is to surround yourself with leaders who have grown successful businesses from scratch. Build a strong circle of mentors and learn from their experiences and knowledge.

 

As your business grows to be larger, an increase in customers and revenue is not enough to keep it thriving. Its leaders need to evolve their mindsets and management styles too.

 

2. Align employee goals to business growth

Link the company’s growth with the growth of each team member. Work closely with them to chart out their career goals and how they can achieve that within your organisation. When employees see that their individual growth and development matter, they are motivated to do their best and remain loyal. A strong group of loyal employees will be invested in the company and will work hard to contribute to its growth and sustenance.

 

3. Consistently re-evaluate job roles and team responsibilities

Teams should be frequently evaluated in terms of current needs and future goals of an enterprise. Think strategically about current team responsibilities and hiring plans. The founding team that brings a business to a certain level of success may not be best suited to achieve the next level of growth. Similarly, a CEO of a startup may not be able to effectively run the same company once it is larger in size. It is important to evaluate leadership at each stage of growth. Aside from that, in startups employees wear multiple hats. As the business scales, it is essential to hire people that specialise in different areas.

 

Also read: How to hire the right person for your team


4. Establish processes

As a growth entrepreneur you must define processes to drive operations. At startup stage, you may be able to survive without a clear HR policy, employee manuals, and detailed job description documents. But as you grow, outlining processes becomes important to minimise inefficiencies and facilitate better communication across the organisation. The processes should be defined by people who are already doing the work. Formalising processes also makes it easier to hire and onboard team members. E.g., when hiring personnel, if the job description document is well defined, the HR team and recruiters are able to identify more suitable candidates.

 

5. Give thought to your organisational design

Organisational design determines how people work together in an organisation. It is also the architecture of how the business communicates with the outside world. Therefore, when scaling your business, it demands careful attention. Ben Horowitz, author and seasoned entrepreneur, highlights in his book The Hard Things About Hard Things the key steps to organisational design –


i) What needs to be communicated – What is the most important knowledge and who needs to have it? For example, in an eCommerce business, user-experience must be understood by the design, development, marketing and help desk team.


ii) What are the frequent decisions – Consider the decisions that come up time and again in your business. Design your organisation in a way that maximum decisions are under the domain of a designated manager.


iii) Decide who is going to run each group – Some large organisations make the mistake of putting individual ambitions ahead of communication paths, for people at every level. The organisation must be optimised for the people that do the work, not for the managers.

6. Build a strong foundation with technology

As a growing business you need to focus on technology to establish a strong foundation for growth, potential to scale faster, and operational efficiencies. In today’s digital world, technology pervades all aspects of business from marketing to hiring. Identify solutions that increase productivity and support growth.

Also read: Technology and business trends in 2020

 

7. Document your strategy

CEO of HubSpot, Brian Halligan stresses on the importance of a clear strategy document for a scaling business. In startup mode, it is okay to improvise and have many ideas being tried out at once. But in scale-up mode you must be focused on a very clear growth path. Trying out too many things can burn resources and waste time. Halligan suggests using an MSPOT structure to streamline business strategy.

Mission: Rarely changes
Strategy: Annually changes
Projects: 4 or 5 big annual initiatives
Omissions: Projects you decide not to undertake
Tracking: Numbers you are looking at to see if you are on track

The journey from starting up to scaling up requires the right leadership mindset, a clear strategy, airtight processes and a robust communication structure. Share with us your thoughts on how leadership should evolve as a business scales.

 

Also read: The big business potential

 

Image source: shutterstock.com

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GlobalLinker Staff

We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.

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