When Growth Finally Kicks In

Growth is an essential part of the survival of any organization.  Just as any organism will die without growth, organizations will stagnate and eventually suffer if they are not constantly growing.  But growth is the most difficult day-to-day task facing an executive.  How much should you grow and in what direction?  These seem to be life-or-death decisions. There are ways, however, of managing growth that achieve objectives effectively and organically.

The three parts of an organization that must experience growth, or surely they will die, are the mind, body, and soul. For the organization to experience effective growth, all three parts must grow at the same time. A useful way to think about effective organizational growth is by visualizing three rocks held together by a rubber band. Each rock represents the mind, body, and soul, respectively, of an organization. All three must move forward at the same time, or else the rubber band will snap back, stymieing progress. In terms of your company’s growth, this uneven movement leaves the company in the same position as when you started the growth initiative.

What exactly are these three aspects of your organization – the mind, body, and soul? The mind is the leadership, defined as those who make decisions, including but not limited to those in charge of the organization. Leaders of an organization are the people who are setting strategy and articulating vision and direction. Every member of an organization should be certain of these leadership qualities. There is leadership, in other words, at all levels of an organization.

The body of an organization consists of the key components of the organization’s functioning – the process, structure, and even finances. The body is the guts of an organization.

Informing both the mind and the body is the soul of an organization – the corporate culture or code of ethics.

Any effective growth strategy aims to move all three of these components forward in near unison if it is to be successful.

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