How organisations grow
We've worked with a wide variety of organisations from local start-ups to international networks. We see three distinct phases of building businesses, each with its own advantages and challenges. The right approach depends on what phase you are in.
Experimental approach, being highly flexible and responsive to market opportuni es. Family style relationships with the founder.
Initial business concept developed by pioneering leader. Focus on new product introduction and reaching markets.
New members join the team, but the vision and values of the founder continue to guide decision making. Close relationships are formed between the team and trust is integral part of the working practices. This enables the small, ‘family style’ business to be highly flexible and responsive.
As the business continues to grow, the team members can not maintain close relationships with the increasing number of people necessary. More formal systems are required to co-ordinate the increasing level of activity.
Formal management structures introduced (Hierarchy) as the organisation scales up
Policy and procedures begin to guide decision making through the hierarchy. Business focus on effectiveness and efficiency of its systems to meet market demands.
The hierarchy can be scaled up or down in line with business growth. New team members take their place in defined job roles.
The simple hierarchy becomes stretched as the complexity of the business grows across multiple product lines and operating geographies. A cultural hierarchy begins to form as people find work rounds to get things done quicker.
As organisation may restructure several times, and experiment with matrix style structures to try and cope with the complexity, however flexibility and responsiveness remain a challenge. Ultimately as loser structure is required, where decisions are made closer to the front line
Adaptive ‘local’ hubs operating in-line with organisation purpose and values.
Working practices are translated into core values with which the network operates. Decision made close to the people/customers they impact.
Flexibility and is regained and innovation can be less formal. Learning cultures continually redefine and share best practice.
Integrity in decision making maintains alignment with wider organisation purpose.