A critical time in the life of a business is when it breaks thru the so called “glass ceiling” and moves from a small business mentality into that of a growth company. This is accompanied by a rapidly growing staff and an influx of new business.
It may sound like an ideal situation but it will require a change in the thinking process of the owner as well as letting go of some the management responsibilities. In most cases this is a new and unfamiliar challenge such as selecting and trusting others to take on a management role. The realization that change has to occur may present an overwhelming situation; the unstructured, yet successful operation of the past will no longer be sufficient to absorb the new growth spurt.
Flexibility is a characteristic of a small business, the ability to respond quickly as the environment changes. This is what allowed the business to reach this point of transition. Great care has to be taken in the restructure of the organization to allow that entrepreneurial spirit to continue to grow at the next level.
Loyal, do it all employees, may not be able to rise to a new management role, yet they are the foundation upon which the company was built. A “harsh restructure” consisting of new management and a first ever organizational chart may cause unrepairable damage.
Bringing in an outside person to spend a week to accomplish the complete transition is the wrong approach. In my experience, it requires the following steps:
- An in-depth analysis of the company and how it arrived to its current position. This includes looking at the staff, systems, and procedures as well as the financial stability of the company. This study may take as long as a month to complete.
- Based upon these findings a detailed plan and its implementation process is developed before any significant changes are made. The goal is to make it a seamless transition.
- The next step is to look at the current staff and their position within the new plan.
- At this stage of re-organization the person most likely to be brought into the management circle is one to take over some of the responsibilities of the owner.
The feeling of community that has been developed in the company while reaching this next stage must be carefully maintained.
Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results predictably. Michael Gerber