Scaling will mean different things depending on the size of the organization you’re starting with. It can also take on completely different meanings depending on the values of the company, and whether their chief concern is spreading high standards, communicating as the organization grows, or increasing more of an already good thing. Usually, it’s the last one that trips people up. Robert I. Sutton wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review explaining the different, and sometimes similar, scaling challenges that organizations face.
Whether it’s a small business that’s increasing from 6 employees to 20, or a global corporation that’s looking to expand to new countries, there is always one problem in common. How do we take a good thing, and make sure we get more of it? The solution is going to vary. Sometimes it means really concentrating on defining what has made the company good so far. Sometimes it means communicating everyday challenges as the company grows.
Whatever your scaling challenge may be, remember to concentrate on taking the good and make more of it. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It shouldn’t only be the size of the organization that’s increasing, but the list of traits that made it an excellent business to begin with.