We have scaling all wrong...


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Little nightly thoughts
by Business Exploration

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If your organization is stalling, incapable to unchain its energy to grab new market potential,
it may be a sign that your organizational model need a reshuffle.

The signals of this happening are several:

  • you run forward to new territories, but your people is lagging behind;
  • you ask for more effort, and you are betrayed;
  • you onboard more resources, only to discover that nobody really connects them...

The tasks distribution that worked perfectly fine till some time ago, now is no more able to deliver.


Your bottleneck:

In your back-thinkering you know what is the problem:

A few of your most valuable persons have become saturated, resulting in a bottleneck for the whole organization throughput.

Those persons on the other hand are unvaluable to create that great solutions you promise.

Unfortunatelly they are neither replicable or substitutable.
They posses a number of competences that is large and at the same time deep, and make them unique.

This is the reason of your success. And the point where your success chocks instead to scale.

The scaling dilemma:

To scale you would need specialization.

People perhaps even more specialized. That can do "more of the same" faster and better.
Specialists however, have a problem: they do not coordinate well.
They need a process that link them, and processes - you know - respond very badly to change and uncertainty.

The people that manage change and uncertainty well are those actually the bottleneck.

We tend to confound them with "generalists", while in reality they are more "all-rounders".
They are those people that instead to do "more of the same" they do "nothing of the same", everytime bringing a new tailored solution to life.

The real problem:

Now that the difference between the two organizational models is clear, we have also clear that the problem is not an organizational one.

It is first and foremost a Business Model problem.

To scale you need to give up a good chunk of your ability to match any customer request.
Is the "scaled up" version of your business sustainable?
If the answer is yes, then you can move on to map the way your team creates the most used solutions, and create processes and find specialists that can cookie cutter them.

If not, well, forget to scale. (But start build your spare all-rounder)


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