Balancing Growth: Reflections from an Inc 5000 Company
Growing quickly and growing well. This is the image of success for most companies, yet quick growth in size is rarely balanced by healthy growth in organization.
As an Inc 5000 company that is growing both quickly and well, we’d like to share some key insights that we’ve discovered along the way.
Culture drives quality. Culture drives satisfaction. For the benefit of both clients and employees, culture matters. Keep a watchful eye on how your culture is morphing as you grow. You’ll notice that sometimes positive changes take root naturally and blossom to the enrichment of all. Other times, you’ll need intentional interventions to plant, water, and cultivate what you want to take root in your organization.
Vigilantly Watch for Burnout
Fast growth means opportunity for professional advancement and skill development for employees. It also means that the team’s capacity is constantly tested. Go-getters thrive in an entrepreneurial company. They also risk burnout if leadership isn’t vigilant and engaged on their behalf. Watch for that tipping point (which is a very individual mark) when enriching professional growth turns to debilitating burnout. Turn it into an opportunity to build deeper trust with your top talent, by helping them navigate needed changes to sustain their effectiveness.
Make time to understand who you are – beyond products and services – and what special fibers run through your organization that make it uniquely yours and appealing.
Mature Your Talent Development
A stellar young company is usually filled with talent from the founder’s direct network. As founders become preoccupied with internal organizational development and external client development, talent recruitment efforts can get sidetracked. Even in a small firm, there is great value in formalized recruitment strategies, role competencies, objective performance measures, interviewing and selection tools, and personalized development programs. A wondrous multiplying affect can be accomplished when a person or team explicitly devotes time and effort to talent development.
Know Your Soul
In companies that grow quickly – especially when large venture capital isn’t financing the growth – there is something special at play that draws clients and talent to want to work with the company. It may be the novel and unique value of the solution sold, the charisma or character of the founding team, or the magnetic draw of the culture and sense of purpose. Make time to understand who you are – beyond products and services – and what special fibers run through your organization that make it uniquely yours and appealing.