Vision, Clarity, and Puzzle Pieces – Part Two
It’s really hard to lead a successful business today. It’s even harder if you’re trying to do it by yourself. Most leaders aren’t alone in managing the business, but without a clear direction, or vision, it can be very difficult for others on the payroll to be helpful. By the way, this is not an uncommon situation. The challenge is moving the organization through the growth stages and that begins with an entrepreneurial model through to a leadership model.
Years ago, NAPL had created a business growth matrix. On a continuum, it identified four growth stages that included entrepreneur, growth by design (2 levels) and leader stages. They each had key concerns and different management structures.
In the entrepreneur stage, the key concerns were profit and loss. These were often the early stages of the business. Survival, and growth were key drivers for the owner. The management structure was quite simple, the owner/operator model. This typically was a command and control operation with most, if not all decisions, “run up the flagpole” to the owner. Many companies started with some variation of this model.
The first level of growth by design saw the key concerns revolving around planning and structure. The owner’s role morphed into more of an owner/manager. This is usually the first stage where you see owners who had been focused on the day to day – working in the business, to making some time to work on the business.
As the leadership team begins to grow, the next level of growth by design shifts the focus to business growth. The management structure begins to take shape and moves from owner/manager to a management led organization.
The fourth stage is the leader model. The management structure has transitioned from a management organization to a leadership organization. The key concerns at this level are continuing to build a sustainable business model.
Two observations to take note of during these growth stages. At the first level, all decisions were made at the owner level. As the business grows and the structure changes, the best companies have built proven processes for decision making at various levels of the organization. The second point is that this can only be accomplished with a vision and core values that have been clearly articulated and understood by all.
So now comes the quiz. Very simply, where is your business on the growth matrix? Is it where you want it to be, and if not, what’s in your way of moving it to your desired level? Simple questions are often difficult to answer.
Gather your thoughts on this, get your team assembled, and begin the process of breaking down the walls of complexity that may be holding you back. This exercise isn’t easy, but it will provide you and your team with the insight to help lead your business into the future.
If you have questions or additional insight into this topic, please comment below or reach out to me directly.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.