What if you could do an X-Ray of your business? Well, you can! In his groundbreaking research of over 650 companies, James Fischer found some remarkable patterns in the challenges and opportunities faced by growing businesses. He identified seven stages of growth starting with 1 employee, growing to 500 employees. And the number one complexity? The number of people.
Think about the “lines of communication” when there are say 3 employees. In a one-to-one line, there would be six different lines of communication. Add a 4th employee, and this jumps to 12 lines of communication. With 500 employees, there would be 249,500 lines. Wow! Talk about the chances of miscommunication.
Fischer found there are many “hidden agents” that if not addressed, will become constrictors to growth, and can even spell the demise of a business. And by asking the right questions of the leadership team, we can gain excellent insight to these hidden agents. This is the “Stages of Growth X-Ray.” Some of the hidden agents that get looked at are:
- What are the Top 5 Challenges facing your business today?
- What kind of mindset exists in the business: Builder or Protector? And how does that compare to the ideal for your stage of growth?
- How has your business handled the Non-Negotiable Rules for your stage of growth, and how were they handled in previous stages.
The best way to prepare for growth is to look back, and fix anything that you missed. What doesn’t get done in an earlier stage will not go away – it will continue to cause constriction.
Your company will be known by the people you keep. An X-Ray of your business can be the most strategic undertaking possible, regardless of economic conditions.