Stage 6 – Strategic : 96-160 employees

Compete from Strength by Developing a Strategic Perspective

There’s a rhythm now.

Patterns of behavior have been established, processes are in place, and the morning walk through your company has an air of familiarity that feels good. Your confidence in your staff is strong and you feel comfortable.

If you’ve captured the imagination of your managers, they now provide the stability to make good decisions, connect with their direct reports, and provide sound input that keeps you updated on critical issues.

This level of engagement is critical in Stage 6 because it’s time for you, once again, to shift your view, your attention and your energy. The company must pay strong attention to its strategic orientation in the market place. With 96 – 160 employees, it’s time to look beyond the arena you have built and prepare to take the company into a more challenging competitive environment.

You must set in motion the longer view, move from an annual planning perspective into a multi-year strategic perspective and drive the organizational culture as a visible leader. Emphasis is once again on people as your top growth gate with profit/revenue as a second priority.

The Top 5 challenges of a Stage 6 company include:

  1. The need to have better staff-buy in.
  2. The impact that staff satisfaction has on the company’s profitability is not clearly seen by every employee.
  3. New staff orientation.
  4. Strengthening a weak profit design.
  5. Hiring quality people.

As a leader of a Stage 6 company, you must engage a unique blend of managerial and visionary styles. Orchestrating a company’s move into Stage 6 requires a leader who believes strongly in the power of effective and consistent communication. Your leadership style must help create synergy by connecting people to each other, be able to heal rifts in a team, and motivate during stressful times.

It’s also time to revisit some areas that you might assume are okay:
How’s the vision? Still clear? Just make sure you’ve revisited this with your management team to avoid any erosion. This doesn’t happen because people don’t believe in the stated vision, it happens because you’ve trained and developed strong-minded staff – they will be testing and questioning the direction of the company.

Values still driving behavior? Again, check in frequently with how these are being adhered to in your company. Are the values still a part of determining who gets hired? Are people making decisions based on those values?

If your vision and values have survived the complexity level you’ve grown to, then your culture should be well defined. Any erosion of the culture you wanted to create will manifest itself clearly at this stage of the company’s growth.

Do you have a powerful strategic plan in place? More critical than ever is your ability to put a strategic plan in place that focuses the company’s resources on opening up new markets, refreshing products and/or services and directing the company’s future growth.
It’s time to get uncomfortable again.

The Five Non-Negotiable Leadership Rules for a Stage 6 company are:

  1. Without fail, establish a 2 – 3 day new staff orientation program.
  2. Generate a 3-year living business plan model (it should address strategic, operational, and people considerations) with detailed budgets for each department and revenue group.
  3. Implement an organizational health survey once a year and establish two company-wide one-day unifying events each year.
  4. Push financial reporting to another level.
  5. Without fail, secure regular one-on-one supervisor/employee meetings.

Remember that rhythm we talked about? Time to orchestrate a new score.

All of ACT One’s programs are designed to focus on your stage of growth. If you are a Stage 6 company, we can provide you with the top five challenges for your stage of growth. We can get you focused on the “rules of the road” for a company with 96 – 160 employees. And we can help you get ready for the day you add that next employee and flip you into the next stage of growth.

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