Just last week one of my friends told me that his business is undergoing massive growth and he is having trouble keeping up. The sales are great and the bank balance is growing but he is being asked to take on more and more work.

He and his wife do all the admin as well as working on the job. He knows he has to change the way he does things and is about to get some good advice on that.

It made me think back to a Harvard Business Review article I read in the 1980s.

The business course I attended in Hawaii back then really rated this article. I believe what it says is as true today as it was then. The article was entitled “Evolution and Revolution as Organisations grow”.

Basically there are 5 phases of growth:

  • Creativity
  • Direction
  • Delegation
  • Coordination
  • Collaboration

The article says that within each phase comes a time of reckoning of a crisis of some sort. In other words you can’t grow without some sort of crisis being resolved. If you can’t resolve it then you will continue spinning around in the phase you are in and never break through.

As an example you may have a business owner in the creativity stage.  The founders are usually technically or entrepreneurially oriented. Communication is frequent and informal. Long hours of work are the norm.

The crisis is that informal communications become infeasible, and new management systems have to be employed eg a business manager has to be employed.

Like a lot of things its really just common sense, but most of us are so busy we need a reminder!

If you would like to know more about the article, do let us know.