managing people while scaling up

Managing People While Growing

In my experience as a global growth consultant, many mid-market businesses struggle to effectively manage their people while their business grows. The good news is that the internationally proven 7 Attributes of Agile Growth framework identifies and addresses this problem for leaders looking to grow their business. One of the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth, talent is dedicated to helping you build a team that is motivated, capable and productive without the ‘people drama’ that can steal your focus.

The 7 Attributes of Agile Growth framework suggests that when you have organisational clarity, accountability and your teams working in alignment, your company will achieve faster results with less effort. To do this, your organisation needs to have the right staff in place. Do you have the right people on board to grow your business?

When to Make People Changes

To help with managing people while growing your business, there are two key questions you should ask yourself to determine whether you need to make changes to the people side of your business.

Are you happy with the people that matter to your business?

Ask yourself, do you enjoy coming to work? Or are you experiencing irreconcilable issues with your business partners? Is there a specific executive not getting the job done? Is there a team member who disrupts everyone else? Is there a  key supplier who not delivering? or are constantly putting out “people fires?

Would you enthusiastically re-hire everyone, knowing what you know today?

This can be a painful question that requires you to face the honest and sometimes brutal facts and make changes. It is important to acknowledge that when you grow, you may simply have outgrown some relationships.

From Good to Great

Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great” describes managing people while scaling up with a bus metaphor. You are the bus driver, your company is the bus and you have to decide who’s going with you, where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

Now you might assume that great business leaders start the bus journey by announcing where everyone is heading. However, Collins states that it is crucial to start by asking who, before deciding where. Figure out if you’ve got all the right people on the bus, then decide the direction to drive. The same is true when growing your business; your people must come first.

To ensure you have the right team on board your bus, you must make an unbiased, clear-eyed assessment of key staff within the business. Sometimes this means that you must be willing to address the uncomfortable but necessary truth that a long-time traveling companion needs to step off the bus before it can move forward.

Connect to Your Values

Once you are very clear that you have great people working inside your business and out, the next step is to connect your staff to the company purpose and set of values.

SSBG Director Leigh Paulden discusses how core values should drive your employment choices in his article Core Values Should Drive Your Employment Choices.

When you have all your staff aligned to the company purpose, working unified towards a single purpose, and living by your company values, you are assured to achieve your business goals.

Want to learn more? View talent books.

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  • About SSBG

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    Our business management and growth consulting service includes programs tailored specifically for mid-market CEOs and their leadership teams. We are experts in sustainable business growth strategies and understand the unique issues faced by mid-market businesses including cashflow pressure, business structure, strategy, accountability, and attracting and keeping the right people.

    Get in touch for expert guidance and a proven path to profitable growth.