Have you hit the ceiling? Is your business “stagnant”?
All businesses hit ceilings. Sometimes its you that hits the ceiling, sometimes its a department. The way we respond to hitting the ceiling is what’s important.
Larry Greiner wrote the article, “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow” back in 1972 and much of what he talks about still holds true today. It was such a good article, Harvard Business Review reprinted the article in 1998. Greiner says the most obvious factor for growth is the age of the organization. “Management problems and principles are rooted in time.” He also talks about phases of growth and describes how particular management problems must be resolved before growth can happen.
Greiner’s 5 phases of growth
1. Creativity – long hours of work are rewarded by modest salaries and the promise of ownership benefits, communication is frequent and informational.
2. Direction – communication becomes more formal, accounting systems are developed. The new manager assumes most of the responsibility while lower-level supervisors are treated more as functional specialists than as autonomous decision-makers.
3. Delegation – more responsibilities are given to managers, which allows companies to expand because of the increased motivation and authority of managers at lower levels.
4. Coordination – formal planning procedures are established, staff hired and technical functions like data processing are centralized.
5. Collaboration – teams are focused on solving issues and combined across functions to handle specific tasks.
To read more of Greiner’s article, click here.
As leaders and organizationally, we should never get complacent. We have to get outside our comfort zone, get uncomfortable. As Greiner points out, we need to move through the 5 phases. However, sometimes we get “stuck” on one or more phases and aren’t growing anymore or growing too fast and everyone is struggling to catch up.
As talked about last month, using EOS® helps teams get to the root cause of why they are stuck. Using the following five central leadership abilities will help you and your team break through the ceiling and get back to growing your business.
- Simplify: Cut complexity; simpler is better, and less is more. EOS has five tools that help you and your team with this: VTO, Accountability Chart, Rocks, Meeting Pulse & Scorecard
- Delegate: You can’t do all the things that used to bring you success. You need to build extensions of yourself.
- Predict: Weekly and quarterly, what must and can be done to hit your annual goals. Agree on (and keep track of) 3-5 most important things to focus on in the next 90 days. Utilizing the weekly meeting (L-10s) helps keep a pulse on the business while holding each other accountable and solving key issues.
- Systemize: Are you frustrated with having to fix mistakes that should never have happened? This is where your business becomes more efficient and profitable. Document your core processes, simplify them, and get them followed by everyone.
- Structure: Get the right people in the right seats. Take a Clarity Break and decide the simplest, most effective way to grow.
Keep focusing on these 5 necessary leadership skills and abilities and you will break through the ceiling and see your company advance to the next level!
EOS is a proven system. Over 100,000 companies around the world use EOS® Tools to run their businesses. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® helps them better prepare for obstacles and opportunities, solve issues at the root, and gain more traction in their companies.