Louise Perkins, CEO of a 67 employee service-based
firm in the Midwest, woke up one morning to the realization
that her small business would hit the equivalent of a solid
concrete wall going 125 miles an hour in just under 90 days.
Disaster was at the door. Why?
Previously dependable employees were making huge
mistakes, communications were breaking down between departments
and inside teams. Managers and their staff were letting things
fall through the cracks, customer orders were going out the
door late and/or with unacceptable returns. Two large customers
were being heavily courted by a powerful competitor and things
weren't looking hopeful that the clients would stay with Louise's
firm much longer. How could all this be happening?
Throughout the 15 years that Louise had run her
small business, she had been a successful CEO. She had always
valued her people, believed in avoiding chaos by putting systems
in place that helped ensure a profitable business, had excelled
at customer service and she had managed to stay out of debt.
Two years ago Louise had 37 employees and in order
to meet work and client demands, she had expanded to 67 employees
in the past 9 months. Louise was unnerved by the seemingly sudden
challenges that had started to rear their heads recently and
she was unprepared for the backlash of employee concerns on
top of client demands that seemed to appear overnight.
Were there some hidden laws of business that Louise
was innocently unaware of that were now forcing her company
down a treacherous path?
The 7 Stages of Growth is a concept developed by
James Fischer, author of "Navigating the Growth Curve." Fischer
spent 6 years researching over 650 CEOs of successful growth
companies to uncover why some entrepreneurial companies made
it and others fell by the wayside.
The Stages of Growth concept examines the complexity
levels that increase as a company grows. And that complexity
factor is caused by one key factor. People. Not profits, not
revenue, but the addition of people.
What Louise was experiencing were the fundamental
changes to her company as she moved from Stage 4 (with 35 -
57 employees) to Stage 5 (with 58 - 95 employees). In fact,
Louise's company was telling her what she needed to pay attention
to, but because Louise was unaware of the changes brought on
by her new stage of growth, she wasn't listening.
FlashPoint! is focused on working with successful
businesses with fewer than 500 employees to help them understand
how complex problems, like those at Louise's firm, are rarely
fixed by simple solutions. Laurie Taylor, President of FlashPoint!
and a business growth specialist helps CEOs uncover the obstacles
to their growth.
Through understanding the concept of the 7 Stages
of Growth, CEOs can actually PREDICT how growth will impact
them, help the FOCUS on the right things at the right time,
and provide a CEO with the tools they need to ADAPT their leadership
style to the needs of their company.
What Louise Perkins needed to understand regarding
her small business were the changes in the rules during the
short period of 15 months her company went from being a Stage
4 enterprise to operating as a Stage 5 company.
key to turning your growing business into a great business.