Organizational Growth - Scaling Up

Organizational Growth - Scaling Up

Rajiv Bhatia – President & Country Head – Analytix Solutions, 0

Growth and expansion are the goals of most of the organizations. It can be defined by many parameters - new markets, new products, physical expansion, Increase in operational size and Increase in Revenue and number of Employees. Success and growth will be gauged by how well a firm does relative to the goals it has set for itself. As the organization grows, it needs to prepare, train and plan for scaling up the overall organizational blocks.

Growth brings Change, Transition and Discontinuity. Even the ablest, the brightest, the most initiative-taking organization can suffer an identity crisis if the scaling up is not managed well. Scaling up will require the leaders to define important parameters, look at the larger View and take the team along to embrace and manage the change while minimizing unproductive churn.

The most crucial element that needs to be managed while scaling up is the Human Element. The key aspects which should be focused upon while scaling up are: Technology, Culture & People.

TECHNOLOGY: 21st century development is entwined with technology. It is assumed that automation and digitalization are the symbols of growth. The visible cues and prompt responses signify our expansion. While expanding, companies may invest a lot on Technology and state of the art gadgets and software. But we need to understand that as important as technology is, it cannot replace Human Intervention. A system must be created to use technology to its optimum stage while letting Human Mind decide the best outcome strategy. Technology is an enabler, but it alone cannot symbolize progress. Advancement will come when People scale up to the level of organization.

CULTURE: When the organization develops, systems and processes undergo disruptive changes. The old manual friendly systems are replaced by automated, formal, and professional systems. It is desirable as it enables you to have more control and standardization. But somewhere, it will create a shift in organizational culture itself. The methods which lead the organization to the size of scaling up will shift to embrace the growth. At this juncture, it is critical to preserve the organizational culture. The Culture defines the Identity of the Organization – “Who We Are.” The Scale up process should be planned around the lines of Identity. We should ensure that existing people helps the fresh staff to understand, explain and mold them within the culture.

PEOPLE: A maturing organization needs to invest equally or maybe more in training our people for Scaling Up. The Employee Funnel in an organization will expand to accommodate and manage the changes in the system. But the employee mind set of each layer of the funnel will be different. It is essential that employees align a similar pattern of thinking and direct their efforts towards a common goal. Employees who are innovators and disruptors are the one who drive change and strategies to climb up. This disruption is to be managed to lead
staff towards embracing the change positively. Some of the strategies to be adopted for an inclusive culture:

CEO, COO, CTO, Senior Leaders
• Disengage from Daily operations and Engage in Growth Mindset

• Get into executive coaching on Mentoring from time to time

Top Managers/ Heads
• Play the role of Change Leaders
• Expand the vision and streamline the communication

Middle Managers
• Be the Change Drivers
• Drill the change in the minds of Team
• Deciders and Implementers of the course of action

Junior Employees
• Give them an experience of the culture
• Make onboarding process exceptionally smooth and memorable
• Make them feel blended into the environment

There is no fixed success formula for scaling up with perfection. It is a blend of training, re-working, adapting, evaluating, rejecting, and re-formulating the ideas, processes, and structure

The changes in organization size and structure creates a leadership dilemma. Leaders must focus on serving a larger market share, increasing, and diversifying the product and service lines and developing ways to offer more solutions to customers. At the same time, leaders should ensure that structural integration, co-ordination, and agility are maintained.

To maintain the integration between Technology, Culture & People, organization must be very vigilant into its actions. Leaders must examine each department, flow of process, and then introduce changes. In this process, leaders should pay attention to the dependence on intermediaries and automated systems to monitor activity. This leads to worries about the challenge of quality control and efficiency. A small organization which ran smooth operations efficiently can face the situation of non-coordination when it grows. The key factor here is to conduct this process without affecting the organizational culture. The individuals should identify themselves as a part of the process and should reach out to other sections avoiding the practice of focusing only on their specific needs and challenges. No Silos should be created but a collective plan should be executed. Mid manager grooming and absorption are highly essential to ensure that similar ideology is followed, and efficiency is maintained.

As they scale-up, Organizations should maintain the agility. It involves communication and collaboration between developers and stakeholders to understand the problems to be solved. It requires taking time to pay attention to and reflect on feedback to validate the direction of movement. Effort is put into reflecting on working practices and experimenting with improvements. There is no fixed success formula for scaling up with perfection. It is a blend of training, re-working, adapting, evaluating, rejecting, and re-formulating the ideas, processes, and structure.