by Paula on March 7, 2012

As a freelance Operations Manager I work with businesses who have reached that point where control is slipping away and what was once a comfortable “small-sized” business is now the owner of a growing number of people’s careers and finding information is no longer just a shout across the office.

A business starts with an entrepreneur with a passion for his product or service and grows to add accounts, sales,  marketing and additional fee earners. Before long there are all of these people working independently on their area of the business and the key that pulls them all together is the entrepreneur.

However, he was someone with great sales flair, a great skill for his product or service and a desire to keep driving the business forward. To now start focusing internally on the business and making sure it works is a tedious and potentially daunting task, BUT it’s essential. 

Let me bring this back to Lego to show you exactly what I mean.

At aged 5 my son would build a Lego house and the wall’s would look something like this:

At a low height this is no problem. However, as the wall grows, the fact that each column stands alone, means although they are all headed in the same direction – up – soon they will come apart. Cracks will start to show and what started as a stable foundation will not support growth. 

Fast forward a year and at aged 6 my son builds a wall like this:

Right from the beginning it has been thought through and planned with growth in mind. He can keep on building like this and the wall will stay strong. Each piece uses the other for support and the inter-connectivity means that together they form a unit, not several towers each with their own direction.

So let’s bring it back to your business.

Build that business with individuals duplicating into teams that all have their own agenda and systems and very soon you will reach a size where growth is no longer easy. Walls crumble and the lack of a solid foundation means you will struggle to take it beyond a certain size.

But what about a well thought out business, that considers the value of clarity, systems that meet everyone’s needs and good communication across the different business areas? This business will have the solid foundation on which the only limit to their growth is the vision of the Entrepreneur.

It’s never too late to start stabilising your foundations, but doing it at the point where you feel that control starting to slip away is a far better time than when those bricks come tumbling down around you.


{ 1 comment }

Kevin Leighton March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for this Paula .. a great illustration of why companies that utilise groups working in silos will never be as successful or as agile as those in which the staff come together and look to each other for support.

Previous post:

Next post: