One common misconception leaders have is to believe they can scale their business by doing more of what they’ve always done. Pivot. Say yes. Save the day. Then, do it all over again. However, growing and scaling are two completely different challenges.
Where does growth come from, incremental gains, or quantum leaps? There are so many articles written on this question, and they come to virtually every single conclusion. I’d like to take a moment to try to explain why the answer is “YES” and what that means for your business.
Your culture isn’t the words on your walls, t-shirts, and website. It is those things that you do as a company that works and is therefore promoted, encouraged, repeated, and honored. Let me pick on integrity to illustrate my point as many, many businesses will include integrity in their core values.
You created a great ebook. Then you put it up on your website and low and behold; people started downloading it! New leads started coming in, and all was well. But something didn’t quite seem right.
There is one choice every successful Founder must make. At some point, every Founder will need to choose between transforming culture and character of the organization to create the ability to scale OR limiting the growth of the organization to keep it within its current operating capacity.
Let’s face it; not everyone is ready to buy on their first visit to your website. I’m probably not going to buy that beautiful house I just clicked on in a Facebook ad this morning, no matter how convincing your website is. This is especially true of traffic from social media.
How do you decide who you let in influence the vision and direction of your company? I’m not just asking about ownership, but on other issues like leadership, decisions, advice, and authority, who do you allow inside?
Do you make decisions in meetings but fail to follow through? Do you regularly have the meeting after the meeting where real decisions are made? Do you have leaders on the team or departments in the company that can’t seem to get in a rhythm, or even worse, just don’t like each other? Do you have trouble getting some people to speak up in meetings or difficulty getting others to be quiet? Do team members point fingers and say I told you so when something goes wrong?
Your business culture isn’t a fixed set of values you scribbled with your mission statement on a napkin one night. Instead, it is a dynamic set of hierarchical values that can and should change in response to the business’ growth and development.