Success is Meaningless Without Growth and Progress

Either you’re creating a business, starting a side hustle or climbing the corporate ladder, my guess is, you want to be successful.

No one really wants to start something and fail, so why is the “fail fast fail often” mentality is wildly accepted? What do we have to gain from a failure when what we really want is to achieve our goals right?

If we cut through all the “social media” and “hashtags” bullshit surrounding the “fail fast fail often” and many other entrepreneurship mantras out there and get to the core of the message, what do we learn?

That failing is only worth if we learn something valuable.

As an example lets say we are working on a Startup called “Switch Case”.

Working on a Startup can be an exciting place to work as it is continuously changing and there is much room for discovery, creativity, testing what works and what doesn’t, but most importantly, it’s a place where you either GROW fast to surpass every crises, or you fail.

Start-ups are Wonderfull places to work if you are willing to learn and grow.

According to Larry E. Greiner, there are are six phases of a company growth and different crisis hit every phase. 

The Greiner Curve

Phase 1 – Growth through creativity

This is the phase where entrepreneurs start developing the idea that made them start the company in the first place. They spend their time creating products and getting clients. So far there aren’t may people working at the company but as the company get’s traction more staff is needed and this is where the First Crisis occurs, the “Leadership Crisis” where a more professional management is needed. 

Phase 2 – Growth Through Direction

Now that the company has a more professional management, business starts to grow and it requires well defined structures and budgets as well as distinguish some functions like production and marketing.

This is where the Second Crisis “Autonomy” hits and new structures based on delegation are needed.

Phase 3 – Growth Through Delegation

Delegating the leadership to mid-level managers gives the time for the top leaders to create long term strategies. A business cannot grow fast if the leaders fail to delegate and trust their team.

But this will lead to a Third Crisis called “Control Crisis”.

One can choose to go back towards safety or forward towards growth.

Abraham Maslow

Phase 4 – Growth Through Coordination and Monitoring

On this phase usually business increases centralization, meaning the previous isolated business units are re-organized by products or services. For example a company has a marketing and a development team that builds several products, on this phase it would make sense to divide them by product, instead of by unit. One marketing and one development team per project.

This will bring the company to the Fourth Crises: “Red Tape” on which companies have a great increase of bureaucracy which will slow down operations and growth.

Phase 5 – Growth Through Collaboration

Growth Trough Collaboration requires to go back to being a more flexible company. The systems placed allow for the team to work on a “Matrix Management” environment and a more collaborative nature takes place.

The Fifth Crisis is “Growth” and it is solved by the next and final phase.

Phase 6 – Growth Through Extra-Organisational Solutions

On this phase the company is already big, possibly huge, and it becomes hard to keep growing fast “in-house”. The next logical step is to make alliances or even buy other companies. This will allow to grow beyond the internal capabilities.

The Greiner Curve is useful in every stage as it might help you identify the current stage of the company, predict what’s ahead and help you avoid being stuck. Being agile and get a team of people aligned with the company values is of extreme importance.

I hope this helps you.

Let me know what are your thoughts in the comments.

Check also these topics: 
The most important role of a CEO
A key factor for the long-term success of your company
How fast should your business grow?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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