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Leading a Scalable Business: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Reshaping and Resizing

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Clearly there are several considerations to be taken into account in being an effective leader when scaling or redesigning a business, but the success of resizing is determined by the energy of the top. From there, it filters down to the strategy, the support system, and the people, which in turn drives the other “do” levers in the business to get results.

The leader has two key functions, focusing on strategy and looking after people, supported by HR, L&D, finance and other business functions. Ultimately, when scaling or resizing, businesses need a plan to get things done and need their people to get there… but it all starts with the right energy. Whether a business is evolving, reorganizing with new processes, or preparing for growth, here are some key considerations to ensure it builds itself to be better and stronger.

The energy of leaders empowers people along the way
The opportunities presented to companies to evolve, redefine and reshape are many, but can only be maximized when people are empowered along the journey with confidence, a healthy work culture, and the ability to share their perspectives on topics. related to the workplace. The philosophy of Jack Welsh, CEO of General Electric 1981-2001, is a good guide on how to empower and treat people well so that creativity and fun are encouraged at work. This continued enjoyment is fundamental to the scale-up journey and to ensuring staff buy-in. Jack Welsh’s principles for building a team are based on the “4Es and a Ps” (Energy, Energy, Advantage, Execution and Passion).

A question for leaders is: do they walk with determination and speed, and do people feel “up” after interacting with them? Teams want to see great energy from leaders and unwavering faith in their mission. It will inspire people and draw them into the compelling vision, inspiring them to champion the cause, perform and take ownership of their success.

Engage permanently with teams in a meaningful way
With a workforce more dispersed than ever, it has never been more important to communicate regularly with the teams. Everything from daily “stand up” meetings to weekly and monthly meetings can help employees feel included, heard and engaged.

Working in times of uncertainty and growth will bring challenges, and leaders need to share them with team members alongside the larger vision, including clear goals in case of failure or failure. Company scale is an iterative process, so leaders need to bring team members together and learn from failures together without complaint. This will help businesses move forward in a consistent manner.

People on the ground can see things that leaders cannot. They are always the greatest asset, so leaders should celebrate their victories, recognize their contributions and solicit their open comments. Scaling up, new work practices, or new products are much more likely to be successful when leaders meaningfully engage with teams.

Keep a top-down view
Strategy at the top must set the tone for the company. As mentioned, a lot of that tone stems from the compelling “why” that drives people to get up in the morning. But that will then spill over into other fundamentals such as who to serve, what pain to resolve, how and where it’s done, and the “how much” of the brand’s offer and promise. Scaling, reconfiguring, or resizing a business requires a high-level top-down view. Working in different departments helps managers to be clearer about the culture, values ​​of their company and most importantly, to whom and what to say “yes” to. When designing or resizing a business, it’s critical that leaders use a top-down perspective to reconfigure around the “why” that started it all.

Invest in a support system
It is commonly said that many leaders feel isolated and “lonely at the top”. Finding the right support system that allows them to work ON their business and not IN it is essential to remain effective as businesses evolve. The last 18 months have demonstrated the need for a support system within companies, including one for managers. HR is essential in facilitating this and has an important role to play in ensuring that it does not get lost in growing business operations.

One way for leaders to build a network of support is to work with a business mentor, someone who has a proven track record and will stand firm as a friend of your business. Mentors help probe decisions and operations and offer new perspectives on challenges.

Building a business is definitely not for the faint hearted. It requires leaders to focus on themselves, keep an eye on the big picture, work with teams across business functions, and invest in robust support systems. However, it puts businesses in a much stronger position for successful resizing and remodeling.