Design Your Organization to Scale Profitably: People Perspective
The strategy to scale profitably needs to be designed at the core of the organization. Some of the concepts discussed in the first part of the series on business perspective were clarity, universality & core strength. The next perspective is around people.
There are certain aspects to keep in mind when preparing your organization to scale from a people perspective.
LEAD, DON'T MICROMANAGE
The founder/leader needs to structure the organization so s/he can move into a position of irrelevance for the execution of the strategy. Keep your eye on how the strategy is being executed but if you find it necessary to micromanage execution then scaling will suffer. By its very nature, scaling requires the leader to step back once the strategy is set in motion. The leader needs to keep their focus on the big picture, on the milestones. Step in to check if all is on track but you shouldn't need to do that too much after the initial ‘lead by example’ phase.
Hiring the right people needs you to hire for broad & complimentary skills. Many people suffer from the ‘lookalike’ syndrome thus missing out on much needed complementarity. It isn’t about building diversity for clichéd reasons, it is truly for filling the gaps in management skillset. It is also about hiring keeping in mind the end state of a scaled organization else you will find a mismatch between where you want to go & the people you are counting on to get you there. When you are convinced you are ready to scale, hire the right people for that vision, invest in their growth & development, while giving them the space to do what is agreed upon. The mental preparation to let go of excess control is key to scaling. One way to counter the inability to delegate core jobs would be to set critical control points in your organization’s process flow. Think of them as checkpoints in your road to successful scaling. There also needs to be an acknowledgement that profitably scaled businesses do not happen due to individual brilliance but actually due to team brilliance. There is a lot of lip service given to this fact but in reality there is greater media focus on ‘stars’. This is no exaggeration, the right team makes all the difference. You should ensure some skin in the game for key management positions with a % of the stock pool kept aside for this purpose.
COLLABORATE There are certain aspects which are core to the business & everything else is a collaboration & alliance. These are alliances with other entrepreneurial outfits, with service providers, suppliers, channel partners and with your customers. Network supports scale & building the right one makes all the difference. There are some partnerships that develop organically; by the very nature of the business. But if you want to truly succeed, you need to plan the details & ensure your network of relationships function like a well-oiled machine. The details will include who you will collaborate with and for what; this has to be by design. An often ignored collaboration is how you make your customers a part of scaling your business, more on that soon Are you consciously planning for scale or are you so caught up in paying the bills you forgot your purpose? Living day to day often leads to a leaking bucket or feels like being on a tread mill. If this resonates with you; let's discuss further.