The challenge of growth and evolution

As start-up and entrepreneurial organizations grow, they move through transitional stages that require evolution from the dominance of personal and ad hoc relationships to more formal and well-defined accountabilities and authorities, at new levels of complexity.  Stresses and strains begin to appear that are natural; these must be managed with insight and care.  Many organizations fail through these transitions not because the leadership lacks strategy or drive, but rather because the organizational system does not mature to facilitate and sustain growth.  If this maturation does not happen by design, growth opportunities may very well be missed, and the risk of failure significantly increased.

Similarly, larger, more mature organizations that take on stretch challenges and want to execute associated strategies need to ensure that their structure, capabilities, and behaviours match the increasing complexity of their work.  Too often this dimension of growth is confused with added volume of work.  The amount of work may be one issue to address; more complex work is an entirely different challenge, with different solutions.