Your organization is a boat… and like any boat on the water, you’re going to encounter waves that will take your boat through some ups and downs.
You’ll be riding high on a wave of growth one month and down in the ebbs the next.
Most leaders understand this cycle of growth, but many are unable to overcome it — their business or organization tossed around until it is left with irreparable damage.
Maybe they hit a huge high, but are unable to sustain the growth, ending up in a wide, deepening low that becomes difficult to come out of.
Some business don’t even make it to the top of the peak; stumbling out of the blocks and getting swallowed by the wave almost immediately.
No matter the effect, the cause for being unable to sustain growth through natural ebbs and flows comes down to one key organizational trait: capacity.
You see, you don’t take a dingy out into the ocean and expect it to take on large waves — that would be foolish. Maybe it stays intact at first and maybe a skilled boatsman can survive some larger ones, but eventually, the waves get bigger and they don’t stop coming and your ship starts to take on water or is broken apart by the pressure.
Why do we do this with our businesses? We throw our teams at waves of growth without preparing them for the impending storm. It takes a large ship that has been prepared and readied to withstand the sustained pressure, ups and downs, and even the weight of the number of people on board to get through.
We need to prepare our teams in the same way — building our capacity to take on the waves of growth and the weight of more clients and employees before we move into deeper waters.
If you’re like us, however, you’ve had to learn this the hard way at times. Just recently, we were riding a larger wave of growth than we had ever been on before. Man, it’s fun when you’re on that wave… it’s exciting! However, exciting can soon turn into worry and worry to regret when you realize that you’re not ready to take it on.
We realized pretty quickly that our boat wasn’t quite ready for this new wave of growth so we took a step back and started preparing for the next cycle. Here’s 5 tips to help your business when you realize that you’re growing faster than your business, organization, or team can handle…