Preparing for scale
A number of changes will need to happen at the highest level of the organisation as an organisation scales. It is critical for the founders to grow awareness on the challenges coming ahead of their journey as well as taking time to envision what the organisation of the future should look like in order to deliver the business needs.
Founders: From Operations to Strategy. Founders start out as doers, not leaders. There’s not enough people to get things done and they actually like having a hand on everything that is happening. And that works well for all, they keep a high level of control and the staff appreciate the proximity of the leadership team. But as you scale this model becomes a massive constraint on growth and founders quickly become the bottleneck of the organisation. They have to learn how to delegate and trust the next level of management to run the operations.
Leadership: From Doers to Managers. For founders to be able to make this change in a timely manner, they need to hire a senior leadership team capable of operating at a high level of autonomy, people who have been there and know who to operate the complexity of the future organisation.
Leadership: From Generalist to Specialist. Most of the founding teams in the region are very young and generalists. The challenge is that these generalist who have done well so far are part of the initial team, if not co-founders. But the reality is that the ones that got the organisation from one to two hundred may not be the ones which will get the company to five hundred or a thousand employees. And this is undoubtedly, one of the toughest challenges for a CEO when he concludes that a senior executive needs to be let go.
Organisation Roadmap: Planning ahead what your organisation should like is critical. And to do that you need an organisational roadmap just the same way you would do for your product. It helps you prioritise and make sure you build the right capabilities in the organisation on time.